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How to Get Around in Kyoto

How to Get Around in Kyoto

Kyoto is a fairly compact city, making it easy to explore and navigate without a car. Public transit, biking, and walking are all great options, and taxis are plentiful, though fairly expensive. See below for your best options for getting around Kyoto.

 

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

Start your visit with a hop-on-hop-off-bus trip to get your bearings. Grab a seat on the upper level of an open-top, double-decker bus for the best views of top attractions such as Kinkakuji Temple and Kyoto Imperial Palace. Audio guides in different languages provide additional insight into points of interest.

 

Public Transit

Kyoto’s public transit network comprises trains, subways, and buses. Six intercity and intracity train lines serve Kyoto, and the city’s two subway lines run north–south and east–west. The bus network is extensive and covers just about everywhere in town.

 

Walking Tours

Kyoto is a great city to explore on foot, whether you want to wander around the central sightseeing districts or hike in the surrounding hills, and walking tours are popular. Some cover several sights within walking distance of each other, while others focus on a specific area or interest.


Biking Tours

Kyoto’s flat terrain, relatively simple layout, and typically pleasant weather make it ideal to explore on two wheels. Join a guided bike or e-bike tour, or opt for a rental bike to explore the city on your own. Many popular attractions offer designated bike parking, though it may be more difficult to park in the city center.


Rickshaw Tours

For a unique perspective, explore Arashiyama or Higashiyama on a guided tour in a traditional Japanese rickshaw. Rides typically last from 20 to 120 minutes and include the Bamboo Grove and temples and shrines of Arashiyama or the historic wooden buildings and stone alleyways of Higashiyama.

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12 Tours and Activities

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Kyoto Arashiyama & Sagano Walking Food Tour
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Kyoto Arashiyama & Sagano Walking Food Tour

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Spend some time getting acquainted with the food and culture of two historically important and beautiful districts of Kyoto on this guided walking tour. Stroll over the ninth-century Togetsukyo bridge and make stops to sample local snacks. After a visit to the 14th-century Tenryu-ji temple, head to a beautiful bamboo garden and indulge in some traditional Japanese sweets. This tour of Arashiyama and Sagano is a great way to get to know Kyoto.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$110.70
From
$110.70

Half-Day Guided Bike Tour of North Kyoto with Lunch
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Half-Day Guided Bike Tour of North Kyoto with Lunch

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Active travelers will love the opportunity to explore the northern parts of Kyoto by bike. Your local guide will make sure you don’t get lost, and will show you to back alleys and hidden corners that you might miss otherwise, as well as some of the famous attractions that shouldn’t be missed. Cycle on comfortable bike, and enjoy an authentic Japanese lunch to refuel.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$80.70
From
$80.70

Private Highlights of Kyoto Tour

Private Highlights of Kyoto Tour

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Immerse yourself in the cultural and architectural splendor of Kyoto on this private tour, ideal for first-time visitors. Choose from two different routes, both of which cover major Kyoto attractions including Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple, and explore the city with a personal guide. On the northwest-bound route, you’ll visit the Golden Pavilion, Nishiki Food Market, and the bamboo groves of Arashiyama Park. Alternatively, the southeast course covers the Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu Temple, and the Gion area. Receive undivided attention from your guide on this private tour. 
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$175.68
Price varies by group size
From
$175.68
Price varies by group size

Gion Walking Tour by Night

Gion Walking Tour by Night

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191
Discover Kyoto’s magical Gion district, which is known for being the city’s Geisha area. Don't worry about language barriers, as a guide is there to help you translate and explain the difference between maiko, geiko, and other Japanese words. The unmarked narrow streets of Gion can make it easy to get lost at night, but this is not a problem with a guide to navigate and lead the way. Upgrade to a longer, private tour for a closer look at Geisha culture.
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  • 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$10.04
Price varies by group size
From
$10.04
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
$78.73
From
$78.73

Cycle along the ancient canals of Kyoto: Kyoto Small Group Bike Tour
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Cycle along the ancient canals of Kyoto: Kyoto Small Group Bike Tour

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Pedal through the historic streets of Kyoto as you visit its magnificent temples and shrines by bike during this small-group tour limited to 9 participants. Take a spin down the Path of Philosophy on this Kyoto tour that gives you an overview of the city while using a mode of transport preferred by locals: the humble bicycle. See shrines, temples and mountains — this is an enlightening escape from the city.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$52.09
Price varies by group size
From
$52.09
Price varies by group size

Kyoto Rickshaw Tour
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Kyoto Rickshaw Tour

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Step into an authentic Japanese rickshaw for the ride of a lifetime, through some of the most scenic and historic districts in Kyoto, Japan. You have the option of exploring the verdant Bamboo Grove and impressive shrines of west Kyoto’s Arashiyama district or the intriguing wooden buildings and stone alleys (maybe even spotting a geisha or two) in Kyoto’s famed Higashiyama area, all with a knowledgeable local guide and rickshaw driver. This authentic, customizable Kyoto adventure is a fun introduction to this beautiful city.
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  • 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$37.64
Price varies by group size
From
$37.64
Price varies by group size

Arashiyama Rickshaw Tour and Japanese Foot Spa Combo in Kyoto

Arashiyama Rickshaw Tour and Japanese Foot Spa Combo in Kyoto

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Hop aboard a traditional rickshaw for a journey through the atmospheric streets of beautiful Kyoto. With your guide, this tour is an easily customized ride. Enjoy the serene shrines of west Kyoto’s Arashiyama neighborhood, discovering its picturesque Bamboo Grove and charming neighborhood. Then, experience a Japanese Foot Spa in a quiet location close to the center of Arashiyama. Choose from two popular choices for your unique foot-bath followed by a thorough lower leg and foot massage. Enjoy Japanese hospitality and atmosphere as you enjoy a drink of your choice along with Japanese snacks.
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  • 1 hour to 2 hours 50 minutes
From
$74.45
Price varies by group size
From
$74.45
Price varies by group size

Kyoto Arashiyama Rickshaw Tour with Bamboo Forest
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Kyoto Arashiyama Rickshaw Tour with Bamboo Forest

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Take a tour of the Kyoto bamboo forest by rickshaw, and on foot, to explore every part of it. First you’ll be pulled by your guide through the green bamboo on a path reserved for rickshaws. Then pass by Nonomiya Shrine and stop for photos at a little park. The last leg is on foot, where you’ll walk to an impressive part of the forest. Early morning is best to avoid the crowds.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$83.67
Price varies by group size
From
$83.67
Price varies by group size

Kyoto Full-Day Private Tour by Public Transportation

Kyoto Full-Day Private Tour by Public Transportation

You can enjoy a guided sightseeing tour only with your family and friends. This is a Kyoto tour using by public transportation. The destinations of the tour includes Karesansui Rock Garden, Arashiyama Bamboo Groves, Togetsu Bridge, Kinkakuji Temple and Tenryuji Temple. Enjoy the ancient temples , shrines and wonderful bamboo groves with historical explanations by professional guides. For details of the tour, you can look at the what to expect section and inclusions excursions section of this web page.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$149.07
Price varies by group size
From
$149.07
Price varies by group size

Kyoto Morning Private Cycling Tour Including Bicycle and Helmet rental

Kyoto Morning Private Cycling Tour Including Bicycle and Helmet rental

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This private cycling tour of Kyoto is a wonderful way to spend time outdoors and see many of Kyoto’s beautiful sites in one day. Bicycle and helmet hire is included, and you’ll have a guide to accompany you, making it the ultimate hassle-free tour. See shrines, temples, and mountains as you ride down the Path of Philosophy. You won’t have to navigate, as your guide will lead the way, so you can concentrate on the stunning views.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$76.80
Price varies by group size
From
$76.80
Price varies by group size

Magical Kyoto Experience: Temples, Shrines and Gardens Small Group Tour

Magical Kyoto Experience: Temples, Shrines and Gardens Small Group Tour

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Experience the glowing lanterns and lively atmosphere of Kyoto after dark on this evening walking tour with a small group. Experience the ancient Japanese capital after dark as you stroll the city’s serene back streets and visit city landmarks like Yasaka Shrine, the Pontocho restaurant district, and a ‘tachinomiya’ stand and drink shop for included food and drink samples.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$66.21
Price varies by group size
From
$66.21
Price varies by group size