Kyoto
Bus & Minivan Tours

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Our most recommended Kyoto Bus & Minivan Tours

Kyoto: 1 or 2-Day Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

1. Kyoto: 1 or 2-Day Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

Discover the highlights of Kyoto with a 1 or 2-day ticket for the convenient hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Admire the panoramic views from on board the open-top double decker bus, and hop on or off at any of the stops along the route. Enjoy informative audio commentary on board the bus, available in 7 languages. Choose this efficient way of exploring the must-see places and attractions in Kyoto. The bus takes you past many of the city's top attractions, including UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, and Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. Buses run every 30 minutes, and you can enjoy unlimited rides for the duration of your ticket's validity.  Bus stops along the route:  • Kyoto Station • Karasuma Gojo • Shijo Karasuma / Nishiki-ichiba Market • Nijo-jo Castle • Nijo Station • Kitano-tenmangu Shrine / Kamishichiken • Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) • Daitokuji Temple • Kyoto Imperial Palace (Doshisha University) • Heian-jingu Shrine / Okazaki Park • Gion (Kotowa-Kyoto Yasaka) • Gojozaka (Kiyomizu-dera Temple / Gion) • Sanjusangendo / Kyoto National Museum (Hyatt Regency Kyoto)

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From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

2. From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

Visit some of Kyoto's most famous cultural sites on this day-long bus tour from Osaka. Hop aboard a comfortable coach and drive to Japan's ancient capital to see the brilliant torii gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine, the UNESCO-listed Kiyomizu-dera temple, and the golden pavilion of Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto is filled with ancient historic sites dating back to the 6th century. Get dropped off first at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a Shinto shrine famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates. Spend time wandering the brilliant paths before heading to your next destination. Arrive at Kiyomizu-dera, one of the most iconic temples in Japan. Take ample time to wander through the temple. Walk across the impressive wooden stage, which juts out from the hillside and was constructed without the use of a single nail. Next, stop at Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion due to the fact that it's covered in gold leaf. Wander through the immaculate gardens surrounding the temple, admiring the original Japanese designs that have been preserved since Ashikaga's time. Finish the day in Arashiyama, which has been a popular nature-viewing destination since the Heian Period. Take a stroll through the cool Sagano Bamboo Forest and listen to the distinct rustle of bamboo leaves as you walk. In the late afternoon, hop on the bus back to Osaka.

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Kyoto Evening Gion Food Tour

3. Kyoto Evening Gion Food Tour

Starting in Kamogawa, you will stroll along the local streets and head toward Kamogawa River, with some possible seasonal food stops along the way, to gaze upon the many Japanese locals enjoying the cool of the evening, while sitting on the terraces along the water known as Kamogawa yuka noryo in Japanese.   After crossing the Kamogawa River, you'll enter into the Pontocho area, a district of Kyoto, home to many Geisha houses and traditional tea houses. In the evenings you'll be able to see Geisha walking the streets. Not long after our time in Pontocho, we will be in historical Gion, the most prominent entertainment district and Kyoto’s center of traditional arts. Gion is clad with old wooden buildings, teahouses and very exclusive Japanese restaurants, mostly by invitation only. Your guide will tell you stories about this very exquisite part of Kyoto along the way. At the end of the short journey, you will sit down to a 10-course Kaiseki dinner, prepared especially and specifically for Arigato Japan. This should be a moment in your life you will never forget, so the details will be  reserved for those who join the tour. To give you an idea, one of the 10 courses will be an ornate platter mounted with living fish, and you can enjoy the freshest sashimi straight from the bone. The other 9 courses are a mystery guaranteed to surprise and delight your culinary senses.

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Kyoto: Cultural and Spiritual Tour with Zen Meditation

4. Kyoto: Cultural and Spiritual Tour with Zen Meditation

Stumble upon Nonomiya Shrine, a sacred site for the purification and preparation of the priestesses of the Ise Grand Shrine. Wander through pretty Kameyama Park and stop on Togetsukyo Bridge, from where you can admire the swooping cormorant birds. During the summer months, trained cormorants are used in a method of fishing called ukai, where the birds catch the fish for the fishermen. Continue your way up the ancient stone steps of Daihikaku Senkoji Temple, located on the side of a scenic mountain with panoramas of the Hozu River valley, Arashiyama area, and Kyoto City on the horizon. Here you will have the unique opportunity to engage in an authentic Zen meditation under the guidance of a resident monk. Partake in a traditional matcha green tea ceremony, one of the hallmarks of Zen Buddhist culture. Head back along the Hozu riverside to the lively main road of Arashiyama where your tour ends, outside the Randen Keifuku Arashiyama station. The station area provides an assortment of eating and shopping options for you to indulge in. There is also a glowing display of beautiful Kimono fabric patterns in transparent tubes, known as the Kimono forest. We also recommend the foot spa, where natural spring water can soothe your weary feet.

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Takayama: One-Way Bus Transfer to/from Kyoto or Osaka

5. Takayama: One-Way Bus Transfer to/from Kyoto or Osaka

Enjoy a hassle-free transfer by comfortable bus between Takayama and Kyoto or Osaka. Enjoy the beautiful scenery during the journey, including some free time in the city of Kanazawa. There are 3 transfer options to choose from: Osaka to Takayama Route Depart from Osaka at 7:15 AM. Arrive at the city of Kanazawa where you can enjoy some free time. Take the opportunity to visit the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and see Leandro Erlich's "Swimming Pool" art installation. Afterward, the bus takes you to the Observation Deck where you can enjoy beautiful views of Shirakawago village. Arrive in Takayama city center at about 6:05 PM. Kyoto to Takayama Route Depart from Kyoto at 8:15 AM. Arrive at the city of Kanazawa where you can enjoy some free time. Take the opportunity to visit the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and see Leandro Erlich's "Swimming Pool" art installation. Afterward, the bus takes you to the Observation Deck where you can enjoy beautiful views of Shirakawago village. Arrive in Takayama city center at about 6:05 PM. Takayama-Kyoto/Osaka Route Depart from Takayama at 9:00 AM. Stop in the city of Shirakawago and enjoy some free time. After Shirakawago, continue the journey with a stop in the city of Kanazawa. Explore Kanazawa freely until departure time. The bus will reach Kyoto around 7:00 PM and Osaka around 8:00 PM.

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From Kyoto: Day Trip to Nara and Osaka By Private Vehicle

6. From Kyoto: Day Trip to Nara and Osaka By Private Vehicle

Explore the most popular sights of Nara and Osaka in just one day on this tour from Kyoto. Starting with visits to the Todai-ji temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Todai-ji temple, one of Nara’s top historical sites and one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, houses a 15-meter bronze statue of the Great Buddha, Vairocana. Learn about the unique Japanese religious culture inside the Kasuga Taisha Shrine and discover the magical, wood-built architecture and the thousands of lanterns that decorate the inside. Along the way, walk through Nara Park and meet some of the local deer. Here, deer are divine protectors of the ancient capital who live in harmony with the locals. Experience the unique traditional arts and crafts of Naramachi street, a well-preserved merchant's district. Next, visit the famous Namba and Dotonbori districts in Osaka, where you can find many shops and restaurants. Enjoy lunch on your own with tips from your knowledgeable guide before ending the tour at Osaka Castle, where you can explore the grounds and enjoy the view of the castle’s exterior.

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Kyoto: 5-Hour Private Guided Walking Tour in the Gion Area

7. Kyoto: 5-Hour Private Guided Walking Tour in the Gion Area

Meet your guide at the JR Kyoto station and get on the bus to start the tour. Arrive in the Gion area and walk along the Ajikiroji path with its traditional Japanese houses that have been there for more than 100 years and is now a popular area with artists. Head to Miyagawa-cho Street, a traditional entertainment district where Geishas and Maikos work. Enjoy traditional Japanese townhouses and stone walls and learn about this area from your guide. Visit Kennin-ji Temple, the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto. The temple is famous for its dragon painted on the ceiling, its peaceful garden, and paintings on its sliding screens. Next, head to Hanamikoji street, located in the middle of the district of Gion. During this tour, the guide will share their highly recommended local spots for sweets and restaurants along the way, so you can visit after the tour. The final path of the tour is Shirakawa-Minami Street, which will make you feel like you've stepped onto a movie set.

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From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

8. From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

Start the tour with pick up from central Osaka and travel to historic Kyoto. Over the course of the day, you'll be presented with a balanced view of this historic city and its surroundings. The Arashiyama district is the first stop, and it is here where you'll be introduced to Japanese garden and temple design. Tenryu-ji Temple has one of the most outstanding, timeless examples of Japanese gardens surrounding it's simple-but-majestic temple buildings. Then it's time for a walk up through the famous bamboo grove - a photo opportunity not to be missed - before arriving at the entrance to luxurious Okochi Sanso. Here you will try some matcha (Japanese green tea), before exploring the winding paths that connect the buildings, views, and garden areas. Afterwards, you'll enjoy a stroll alongside the river, then have free time for lunch and even a bit of shopping, if you wish. Next, enjoy the atmospheric streets of the Goin district, complete with a gurgling stream and rows of traditional tea house and restaurant buildings.  Not far from the Gion is Fushimi Inari-taisha, arguably the most famous Shinto shrine complex in the entire region. After having a look around you'll end your tour with a visit to the famous Torii gate.

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Kyoto: Small-Group Guided Tour by Minivan

9. Kyoto: Small-Group Guided Tour by Minivan

Meet your driver guide and head to Sanjusangendo in eastern Kyoto, famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Continue to Shogunzuka Mount and take in panoramic views over the entire city of Kyoto, a valley surrounded by mountains. Journey to ramen street in the northern part of Kyoto for lunch (not included). Enjoy the authentic local atmosphere with many ramen restaurants competitively crowded together in one street. For vegetarians suitable restaurants are available as well. After the lunch break, walk along the cherry tress of the Philosopher's path. Marvel at the cherry blossoms in spring and the red leaves in autumn. Meet your driver guide at the end of the path and be escorted to Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion) known for its tea ceremony room and the beautiful gardens. Then, visit Nishiki Market in downtown Kyoto and see a variety of local foods such as seafood, Japanese pickles, Karaage, Takoyaki, Japanese spice, ice cream, green tea, egg roll, dee-fried food, and more. Feel free to taste and buy some of the foods, and look for souvenirs. Feel free to stay at the market after the tour or be driven back to the meeting point.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kyoto

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What people are saying about Kyoto

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 539 reviews

The experience was good. Mariko our guide was very kind. This trip was a good way to spend one day in Kyoto without having to worry about logistics. I wish though that some areas we would have more time but it's understandable given the time we've received as it's about 40-50 minutes between each site. Overall, I'm glad we did this tour. It made everything so much easier.

There is no way you can see everything in one day if that's what you're thinking! Plan ahead what you want to see so you're not disappointed. Also dress appropriately as only open seats are available.

Very convenient to book and the tour made it easy to go to Kyoto tourist spots. Highly recommended specially for first time travellers to Kyoto

Kyoto’s not too huge or traffic jammed for the busses get to the stops quickly without any trouble and they’ve chosen really great places.

This is a great option if Like us you have limited time in Kyoto. We managed to see many sights and really enjoyed our experience.