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Sightseeing on a Budget in Kyoto

Sightseeing on a Budget in Kyoto

Japan is not a cheap country to travel around, and that’s especially true in major cities such as Kyoto, but with a little advance planning, you can make it affordable. Here are our top tips for enjoying the best of Kyoto on a modest budget.

Book a Combination Tour

The charming city of Nara is close to Kyoto, making it possible to explore both in one day. Book a tour that includes both cities, and not only will you save time, you’ll also save the cost of transportation. Look for tours that include entrance fees and lunch for the best value.

Charter a Private Vehicle

Although the up-front cost of hiring a private vehicle to take you around the city’s attractions looks steep, it can actually be a money saver if you’re traveling with a group. And, for less than the combined cost of individual tours, your group can customize its itinerary.

Choose a Tour That Includes a Meal or Tastings

Instead of a booking a regular walking tour, choose one that includes food tastings: That way you can see the city while filling up. Some experiences, such as cooking classes and maiko (apprentice geisha) performances, even include a full meal. Finally, save money on drinks by booking a barhopping tour that includes beverages.

Buy a Travel Pass

If you’re planning to travel in the wider Kansai region, it might make sense to purchase a multi-day pass that allows unlimited train travel. Sometimes the price of the pass is lower than the cost of buying a return ticket.

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7 Tours and Activities | All Kyoto Tours

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

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

star-4.5
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, coach transport, and all entrance fees.
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  • 11 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$153.36
From
$153.36
Taking safety measures

Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group or Private Kyoto Walking Tour

Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group or Private Kyoto Walking Tour

star-4.5
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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$110.61
Price varies by group size
From
$110.61
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Bar Hopping Night Tour

Kyoto Bar Hopping Night Tour

star-5
-Drink like a local! Bar hopping in the backstreets of Pontocho- To start this All-in-one bar hopping walking tour that Drinks & Foods are all included, our local guide will take you to an izakaya bar (a local tavern) on Pontocho street, one of the most well known night streets, full of local izakayas. We will be taking you to places only the locals know and recommend, making for a one and only experience! -Various drink and izakaya food tastings- We'll continue bar hopping walking around in the backstreets of Kyoto. You can try some authentic izakayas that serve yakitori or sashimi with crisp, cold draft beer. If you're a sake-lover, we will help you navigate through a sake standing bar that serves Kyoto-made sake. You can enjoy the night like a local! Magical Trip is a local tour operator with the TripAdvisor certificate of excellence that offers various types of small-group tours throughout Japan! Check out our Trip Advisor Page for more tours and our reviews!
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$106.17
From
$106.17
Taking safety measures

Ramen workshop in beautiful Gion

Ramen workshop in beautiful Gion

star-5
Ramen is one of the world’s most popular meals, but few people have mastered the art of home-cooked noodles. During this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn how to prepare the perfect bowl of soupy ramen, from blending ingredients to cutting the noodles using hand-forged Japanese knives. After you’ve mastered the basics, sample your freshly prepared meal, along with ginger chicken and salad. Workshops include a complimentary craft cocktail.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$69.63
From
$69.63

Private Kyoto Custom One Day Tour by Chartered Vehicle

Private Kyoto Custom One Day Tour by Chartered Vehicle

star-5
Immerse yourself in Japanese culture and history using this private full-day vehicle charter from Kyoto. After selecting your preferred choice of transportation from a van, bus or limousine, your group will enjoy a private tour through the ancient city of Kyoto, complete with UNESCO-listed temples and numerous culture attractions. Explore the city at your own pace and customize the day to see only what you want to, all with the help of a guide/driver. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the best Kyoto has to offer.
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  • 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$735.85
per group
From
$735.85
per group
Taking safety measures

Private Japanese Cooking Class with a Local in a Beautiful Wooden House in Kyoto

Private Japanese Cooking Class with a Local in a Beautiful Wooden House in Kyoto

star-5
Enjoy a cooking class in an atmospheric setting—a beautiful wooden house in Kyoto. The cooking experience introduces you to local recipes that you wouldn’t be able to find in restaurants, and techniques that have been passed down through many generations of the host’s family. Dishes prepared vary depending on the time of year, but sample menu items could be chikuzenni (braised chicken and vegetables), braised burdock root, and miso soup.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$77.95
From
$77.95
Taking safety measures

JR West Official: Kansai WIDE Area 5 Day Pass

JR West Official: Kansai WIDE Area 5 Day Pass

Kansai WIDE Area Pass is valid for unlimited travel in the valid area on the map ・ Valid trains are below; - Non-reserved seats on Bullet Train "SANYO SHINKANSEN" (Shin-Osaka⇔Okayama) ・ The pass can be used for non-reserved seats on the "Hello Kitty Shinkansen". - Non-reserved seats on Express Trains HARUKA, KUROSHIO, THUNDERBIRD, KOUNOTORI, SUPER HAKUTO, SUPER INABA, etc. - Special Rapid Services, Rapid Services, and Local trains on JR-WEST Conventional lines * For reserved seats, please purchase a Limited Express Reserved Seat Ticket from a JR-WEST Ticket Office or other location before boarding.
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  • 5 days
From
$90.44
From
$90.44