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Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto

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Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto

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icon11 hours  (approx.)
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iconOffered in: English

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Discover the history and religions of ancient Japan during this full-day exploration of Kyoto and Nara. See Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kinkaku-ji and Nijo Castle, along with its Imperial Palace. Then drive from Kyoto to Nara to explore its own World Heritage Site, Todai-ji Temple (including Great Buddha Hall), plus Kasuga Shrine. You also visit Nara’s deer park and sample a Japanese and Western-style meal for lunch. Your Nara and Kyoto visit also includes a guide, vehicle transport, and all entrance fees.
  • Full-day sightseeing tour of the ancient sites of Kyoto and Nara
  • Visit Kyoto’s top cultural attractions: Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji, and Kyoto Imperial Palace
  • Travel to the city of Nara to see the Great Buddha of Todai-ji temple complex
  • Admire the 3,000 bronze lanterns in the Kasuga Shrine, and feed the wild deer in Nara Park
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Professional English guide
Air-conditioned vehicle
Entrance to Treasures Hall and Manyo Botanical Gardens at Kasuga Shrine
Hotel pickup and drop-off
JTB SUNRISE TOURS DESK KYOTO , Japan, 〒601-8003 Kyoto, Minami Ward, Higashikujō Nishisannōchō, 31 B1F AVANTI

8:30AM Kyoto Avanti B1F(Sunrise Tours desk) Please be ready 10 minutes prior to the pick-up time.

8:30 AM
This activity will end right where it started.
See the best that the historic cities of Kyoto and Nara have to offer during this full-day tour of the cities’ top temples and sights. It’s a great introduction to the culture and traditions of ancient Japan, along with some time at a nature park thrown in for good measure.

Begin your excursion in the morning. Exploration of the historic environs of Kyoto, the country’s former capital and one-time residence of the Japanese emperor between AD 794 and 1868. The city’s wealth of ancient history has earned a collection of its religious and political sites as the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

Stop by two of Kyoto’s most important highlights with your guide, starting with a stop at Nijo Castle, which was the home of the Tokugawa Shogun until the mid-1800s. This World Heritage-listed site, constructed in 1603, is renowned for the contrasts between its intricate interior and solemn exterior façade.

Head next to Kinkaku-ji, the city’s most popular religious site and what is considered by many to be one of the world’s most elaborate Japanese gardens. Check out the temple’s Golden Pavilion, a 3-story building sheathed in gold leaf and situated beside a picturesque pond, where you can take some great photos.

Move on next to Kyoto’s Imperial Palace, where you have a chance to see the Shishin-den, a key site for important state ceremonies, before wandering the palace’s beautiful grounds.

Pause your tour for an included lunch, then re-board your bus for the drive south to Nara, where you stop by two of the temples and shrines that form the city’s own UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Todai-ji, a religious complex known for housing one of the world’s largest statues of the Buddha (Great Buddha Hall) before continuing to the adjacent Nara Park.

Make your next stop of the day at Kasuga Shrine, renowned for the more than 3,000 lanterns lining its interior. Finish your excursion at Nara’s Deer Park, a famous section of Nara Park with free-roaming groups of deer. Feel free to hand-feed these tame creatures with the special food for sale on site. Depending on time and traffic, you may also visit a souvenir stand to pick up a memento or two before heading back to Kyoto.
Stop At:  
Todai-ji Temple
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Nara Park
Stop At:  
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Duration: 40 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Kinkakuji Temple
Duration: 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Nijo Castle
Duration: 50 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Kasuga Shrine
Duration: 40 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Infant rates apply provided they do not occupy a seat. Not meal included for infants
  • Some parts of roads on this tour are gravel and include steep inclines
  • The tour may not visit Nara Nagomikan if it is closed or due to traffic conditions
  • A set menu meal will be served for lunch. For those who would like a vegetarian meal, please make sure to inform us at the time of reservation. If requests are not provided in advance, same-day changes cannot be accepted. Halal, gluten-free, and other meal requests are not available.
  • The Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed on the following days. As such, the tour will visit Kitano Tenmangu Shrine instead. (Mondays, Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday, May 14-17 for the Aoi Festival, New Year's holidays, and whenever there is an Imperial Household event)
  • The tour will visit Nishi Hongan-ji Temple instead of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine on January 25 and October 25,2021.
  • Nijo Castle is closed on Tuesdays in January, July, August, and December. (Closed on the following day if Tuesday is a holiday.) If closed, or if the tour is during the year-end/New Year's holidays, Ryoan-ji Temple will be visited instead.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • During the Gion Festival (Sakimatsuri, July 15-16), drop-off service to Karasuma Kyoto Hotel and Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto will be unavailable due to traffic restrictions.
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Depending on the number of tour participants, vehicles other than a large bus (mid-size bus/small-size bus), a hired car (van/minivan), or a taxi may be used
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travelers
  • OPERATED BY JTB Global Marketing & Travel Inc.
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto.
What is the policy on sanitization during Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto.
What is the social distancing policy during Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto.

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Traveler Tips

  • "Very convenient, just hop in the bus and they will bring you to destinations with history telling along the way" See review


343 Reviews

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Showing 1-10 of 343 reviews
Best experience of the trip
, Dec 2019
Our tour guide, Yuki was excellent and the tour itself was a great mix of venues with a lot of flexibility. Yuki kept us on schedule without rushing us and provided great commentary on both the tour sites and Japanese culture. If we'd had more time in Japan, I would definitely have looked into any other tours that she might have been leading.
1 day guided tour
, Nov 2019
Very convenient, just hop in the bus and they will bring you to destinations with history telling along the way
Excellent Kyoto & Nara Bus Tour
Gary S
, Oct 2019
Very good Japanese lady with good English speaking guide. It was a long day but the tour covered major Kyoto and Nara stops. Our grand-kids were not too thrilled with historical stops, but they did enjoy deer park in Nara. Lunch provided could have been better. I recommend this tour for visitors with limited time in Kyoto.
Great Day Trip
, Oct 2019
We had a good day that ran smoothly, a good knowledgeable guide in Seiko. We would recommend this tour.
PJ & Roz tour
, Oct 2019
Possibly one of the best days we have had. Bus was immaculate (ninja decal) and Yasuee-san our driver very efficient/ good. Psycho-san our guide was brilliant, very knowledgeable with excellent English (including humorous) The itinerary was well planned with good/quick access to all sites - the shrines, buildings and imperial palace were outstanding/ beautiful.⛩ Lunch was nice - well organised with lovely staff. The deer’s in Nara were something we will never forget - so special / nice. We even had a live Buddha look alike 😃 Thanks for a great day.
, Sep 2019
Perfect day tour of temples and shrines in Kyoto, plus a road trip to Nara where we visited more temples, shrines and the Nara Park. All was wonderful. Our English speaking guide, Harumi, was very good to explain some of the history of Kyoto and Nara as we traveled. She was excellent at keeping our group together, giving us time to explore each site. It was a long day, but well worth the extra time to see Nara. Don't miss it.
A great time
Grace M
, Sep 2019
This was a really fun experience! We started off in Kyoto, and saw the castle and a few shrines. The guide was very knowledgeable, and nice. We had lunch provided, and switched to another guide for the time in Nara. This was amazing to see the deer! And, the shrine with the lanterns was beautiful! A very smooth and fun tour!
Very interesting visit
, Sep 2019
We saw the famous bouddhist temple in Nara and the imperial palace and golden shrine in Kyoto. The guide was good at explaining the significance of the things we saw. We are happy to have taken the trip
Excellent tour of Nara and the Nijo Castle...
, Jul 2019
Our guide was very knowledgeable and informative on the trip, and entertaining. Very full and complete schedule, so much to see and do in a day, but the tour covered so much of it. I was travelling with my 11-year old daughter, she had a great time... only caveat with kids, if they get motion sickness on a bus, have them take Dramamine an hour before the start of the tour.
Overall Experience
, Jul 2019
What a day! It was thorough and weather was nice. The tour guide made sure the group stayed together and we got a lot of information. Tour guide was informational, thorough and organized, The only thing I would change is the lunch buffet. Terrible food selection and no taste. Driver was very safe. Bus was very clean and smooth ride. We requested in advance and was confirmed via email and the morning tour guide that we will be pick up and drop off at our hotel at ANA Courtyard, instead of the Avanti building, across the street from the Kyoto station. In the morning, we were picked up by tour guide from our hotel lobby but after the tour, we were told by our tour guide that we will be dropped off at the train station and we will have to take the hotel shuttle back to the hotel. That was not the agreement and arrangement. We did ask the tour guide and she insisted that we get drop off at the train station and the hotel shuttle will take us back to our hotel. I showed her the email but that didn't matter.
Good packed schedule + well-organised
, Jun 2019
Plenty to see. We didn't spend long at each location, as you would expect from visiting over 6 sites in a day, but our tour guide (Casey) was always full of energy and imparted interesting information everywhere we went, including on the coach, and took care of everything. Lunch consisted of a generous buffet lunch.
Very good trip compacted in one day for Kyoto & Nara
, Apr 2019
It is a very good trip compacted in one day for Kyoto & Nara. There was lots of information provided by our tour guide Miyuki as well.
Seamless transportation, nice guides, cool sites
, Apr 2019
Pickup location and transportation was perfect and seamless. Guides were informative and nice, although some had better English than others. The ones with less good English were almost unintelligible. Unfortunate that we couldn't spend more time at each place, and at Nijo Castle we didn't even see the whole area. Lunch was horrendous and a waste of stomach space; wish we had better meal options. Overall still a great deal.
Nice Trip
, Dec 2018
We had an awesome guide,Kay Cee, who made an otherwise a standard trip to something more interesting as he was so cute and smiling all the time. You get to see 3 places in Kyoto followed by lunch and then 2 places in Nara. You get to see some shrines/temples and Imperial palace (grounds only) and a castle(Inside).
Excellent Trip
, Nov 2018
The trip to Nara and Kyoto was great. Golden temple was awesome. Ms Michi Tour guide was very energetic and punctual in time. She explained everything in details. May Almighty God bless her.
Perfect overview of Kyoto and Nara
, Jul 2018
This is the trip to take if you have limited time in the Kyoto area. Kyoto in the morning, a buffet lunch, and Nara in the afternoon. Highly recommended.
This was a good way to see some of...
Alistair S
, Jul 2018
This was a good way to see some of the highlights of Japan's cultural capital and its neighbour Nara. Particularly impressive was the Golden Pavilion.
Its a good choice for one day tour
, Jul 2018
We can visit several places in one day in very efficient way. Tour guide and driver are very friendly. We really enjoy the tour
, Jul 2018
There was no guide as was promised only an assictentthat didnt speak and didnt explain anything only brought us with bus to the places very gery bad
Had a lovely time learning and...
, Jun 2018
Had a lovely time learning and seeing the beautiful sites of Kyoto and Nara my favourite part had to be Todaji temple with the numerous deer walking around outside the temple is a site to behold, The tour guide had really good english and I learned a lot on the trip.

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