Enjoy the cultural soul of Japan with a step back in time to Japan’s rich, traditional past with a tailored tour to Kyoto, visiting some of Japan’s most stunning architecture.


4 Days, 3 Nights     CONTACT US FOR PRICING

Kyoto is commonly renowned as Japan’s cultural capital, and most beautiful region. This four-day, three-night tour allows you the chance to explore the highlights of Kyoto, led by an expert Backyard Travel guide who will reveal the secrets and history of the fascinating city.

Explore Kyoto with a tour around the city’s World Heritage Sites such as Nijo Castle, as well as a tour of Kinkakuji, a stunning Buddhist Temple also known as ’Golden Pavilion Temple’. You’ll also journey to the Daitoku-ji Zen temple complex and the Daisen-in sub-temple.

Spend time engrossed in the art of Japanese food. You will learn about the indigenous ingredients by visiting ’Kyoto’s Kitchen’ – Nishiki Market, which is well-known in the city as a haven for foodies and learn the secrets of preparing the delicious cuisine itself in a traditional wooden town house.

Absorb the sights and sounds of Nara, a former capital of Japan in the 8th century. In Nara you will visit some spectacular temples and shrines such as Todaiji Temple (The Great Eastern Temple), Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall), and Kasuga-taisha (Kasuga Grand Shrine) before returning to Kyoto to visit Kiyomizu Temple (Pure Water Temple), a temple which was amazingly built without using any nails.


Each of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and our destination based teams will start planning a unique and personalized trip.

The Backyard Travel Team,


Explore the sublime region of Kyoto led by an expert English speaking Backyard Travel guide who will show you around the fascinating city
Visit the fascinating shrines and temples of Nara, including the Todaiji Temple (The Great Eastern Temple), Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall), and Kasuga-taisha (Kasuga Grand Shrine)
Learn the secrets to preparing delicious Japanese cuisine with a special cooking class which includes a trip to ’Kyoto’s Kitchen’ - Nishiki Market - to source ingredients

Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Kyoto

    Yokoso and welcome to Japan! You will be met upon your arrival at Kansai International Airport by your Backyard Travel guide who will chauffeur you on a 90-minute transfer to your hand-picked hotel. The remainder of your day will be spent at your leisure, you may choose to explore the local area or investigate the nearby shops and restaurants of the quaint region.

    Overnight in Kyoto

    Meals included on this day: None

  • Day 2: Kyoto

    After breakfast at your hotel you will have the chance to explore the former imperial capital of Japan and its World Heritage Sites, using the local bus network guided by your expert Backyard Travel guide.

    You’ll begin your investigation at Nijo Castle which was built by the first shogun of the Edo Period, Tokugawa Ieyasu. The castle remained in the family until the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1867 upon which time it was used as an imperial palace.

    The palace and its castle keep now exist as the best example of architecture during Japan’s feudal era and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 partly because of its stunning surrounding gardens.

    Once you’ve explored the sliding doors, Momoyama architecture and painstakingly manicured gardens, you’ll next move on to Kinkakuji, also known as ‘Golden Pavilion Temple’.

    Kinkakuji is a Buddhist temple with elegant, breathtaking Muromachi period gardens and was originally belonged to Saionji Kintsune, a powerful statesman circa 1397. The building was bought by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu but upon his death the villa was converted into a temple, as it still stands today.

    To finish your morning excursion you will visit the Daitoku-ji Zen temple complex. Originally a small monastery, the temple was founded around 1319 by a monk called Shuho Myocho and comprises a main temple and 22 sub-temples. You’ll pay visit to Daisen-in sub-temple with one of Japan’s most famous Zen rock gardens.

    In the afternoon you will go to visit the Nishiki Market in downtown Kyoto, renowned as a haven for foodies, the narrow five-block-long stretch of more than 100 shops and stalls is known as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’ and specializes in seasonal produce and all-things food related.

    You’ll be guided around the market, learning about local Japanese produce, while buying ingredients and building up a hunger for your Japanese cooking class.

    As you emerge from the market, bedazzled by the sheer amount of produce on sale, you’ll then be guided through the back streets of Kyoto to visit a former sake brewery for a tour and tasting of Japan’s iconic beverage.

    You’ll then move on to a traditional wooden townhouse for a Japanese cooking class where you will learn how to prepare your own sushi, miso soup, and seasonal dessert.

    After devouring the fruits of your labor, explore Kyoto at your own leisure. Feel free to inquire with your Backyard Travel guide as to popular places nearby to go, or simply lose yourself in the narrow lanes of the local neighborhood around your hotel.

    Overnight in Kyoto

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

  • Day 3: Kyoto – Nara - Kyoto

    After breakfast your Backyard Travel guide will collect you from your hotel and escort you to the local train station where you will embark on a 45-minute journey to Nara.

    Nara, formerly a capital of Japan in the 8th century, occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture which borders Kyoto and is renowned for its well-preserved temples and shrines.

    Your first stop will be at the Todaiji Temple, one of the most famous temples in all Japan. Also known as ‘The Great Eastern Temple’, Todaiji Temple was built in 752 AD and contains the world’s largest wooden building, the Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall). The enormous hall also houses the largest bronze statue of Buddha in Japan, which stands 15 meters tall.

    Next you’ll continue your investigation of the fascinating temples with a visit to Kasuga-taisha (Kasuga Grand Shrine), a Shinto shrine which was built in 768 AD. While at the shrine you’ll also have plenty of time to soak up the serene atmosphere of Nara Park, nicknamed ‘Deer Park’ by locals because of the herds of deer that wander free throughout the grounds.

    You’ll then return to Kyoto to visit Kiyomizu Temple, otherwise known as ‘Pure Water Temple’. Here you’ll be able to enjoy incredible views over Kyoto from a 13-meter-high veranda which, like the temple itself, was amazingly built without the use of nails.

    You’ll end your day with a serene stroll through the atmospheric Higashiyama District, where a warren of lanes lined with quaint boutiques will spark your souvenir hunting instinct. Here you can shop for Kiyomizu-yaki pottery as well as locally grown pickles and sweets.

    Overnight in Kyoto

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast
  • Day 4: Kyoto Departure

    Today will be totally at your leisure until your guide picks you up at the arranged time and transfers you to Kansai International Airport for your onward journey or flight home.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Gion story

All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Tour Details

All of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room in luxury accommodation. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

 Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

 Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Why Backyard Travel?

Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.
We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.
With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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