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Don’t Miss These Must-Do Activities in Kyoto

Don’t Miss These Must-Do Activities in Kyoto

The cultural capital and spiritual heart of Japan, Kyoto is home to some of the country’s best-known icons—geishas, tea ceremonies, Zen Buddhism, bamboo groves, and cherry blossoms among them. Whether you’re interested in visiting temples and shrines (there are some 2,000 of them), exploring traditional Japanese architecture, treating your tastebuds to refined kaiseki cuisine, or soaking in the warm waters of an onsen, you can do it in Kyoto. There’s a lot to do, so plan ahead to make the most of your time, whether it be a day or a week. See below for our top picks of experiences you won’t want to miss while in Japan’s Ancient City.

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4 Tours and Activities

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Private Dinner with a Geisha

Private Dinner with a Geisha

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10
Immerse yourself in quintessential Japanese culture during a private tour and dining experience with a geisha. In Kyoto, considered the birthplace of geisha culture, you’ll explore the historic Gion area and dine on a multi-course meal at either a Japanese restaurant or tea house, accompanied by a ‘maiko’ (apprentice geisha) or ‘geiko’ (fully-trained geisha).
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  • 2 to 3 hours
From
$335.12
Price varies by group size
From
$335.12
Price varies by group size

Hidden Kyoto E-Biking tour

Hidden Kyoto E-Biking tour

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247
Cycle past a mix of Kyoto’s most-famous sights and its lesser-known secrets during this half-day ‘Hidden Kyoto’ bike tour. Take a 4.9-mile (8-kilometer) ride that starts by winding past iconic Kyoto temples and shrines like Kinkakuji, Koto-in, and Kitano Tenmagu. You’ll continue ‘off the beaten path,’ discovering intimate Zen gardens and charming backstreets known only to locals.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$92.77
From
$92.77

Samurai School and Show in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day

Samurai School and Show in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day

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86
Prepare for battle as you learn the skills of the samurai during this 1- or 2-hour class studying the basic techniques of these ancient Japanese warriors. Take the 1-hour session, providing an introduction to the basics of the samurai art, or choose the 1.5-hour course, practicing more complex movements using a sword and folding fan. When your class ends, enjoy a photo session with your samurai costume and receive a certificate of completion.  This samurai session also includes an English-speaking guide and instructor and a 'tenugui,' a traditional Japanese towel.
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$90.45
From
$90.45

Kyoto Nishiki Market Tour with 7 Course Lunch

Kyoto Nishiki Market Tour with 7 Course Lunch

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24
The Nishiki Food Market, known to locals as the “Kitchen of Kyoto,” is a huge 400-year-old market sprawling with food vendors. Navigate what can be an overwhelming space with the help of your guide, whose insight into the local food scene will give you a taste of Japanese culture—and plenty of food. All food tastings are included as per itinerary.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$190.71
From
$190.71