Your guide will facilitate your day by using incredible public transportation. As you move along the streets, you can talk about the lifestyle in Kyoto. The comprehensive bus system allows you to visit some of Kyoto's World Heritage Sites, and your day will begin with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple, referred to as the Golden Pavilion. This was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun, the military commander at the time. It then became a Buddhist Temple after his death at his request.
You will move on to the Nijo Castle, an ornamental villa surrounded by stunning gardens. Kyoto is known for its gardens and here you will find a wonderful example of why. Nijo Castle can be divided into three areas: the Honmaru (main circle of defense), the Ninomaru (secondary circle of defense) and some gardens that encircle the Honmaru and Ninomaru. The entire castle grounds and the Honmaru are surrounded by stone walls and moats. The main building was completed in 1603, and is famous for its architecture, decorated sliding doors and ‘chirping’ nightingale floors, created to warn the shogun of ninjas.
This area of the city is also known for its market. Though every city and town in Asia has their marketplace, Nishiki Market is special. Not only does it invite exploration into culinary delights, but known as 'Kyoto's Kitchen', it has all things food related. The market is made of actual stalls and stores and almost everything here is locally produced and procured. Often you will be offered tastes of items and your guide will help you out by identifying unusual specialities.
You have spent your time in Central Kyoto and to give you a sense of the vastness of the city, your last stop is Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple in the East. From the 13 meter high veranda jutting out from the Main Hall you can enjoy amazing views of the whole of Kyoto, whilst pondering the fact that both the Main Hall and Veranda were built without the use of nails or any kind of joiners. This is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan and again, the process of construction is one of the factors that makes this stand out as an unbelievable feat.
The temple is in a lovely and interesting neighborhood called Kiyomizudera. You will pass through on your approach to the temple along the steep and busy lanes of the atmospheric Higashiyama District. The many shops and restaurants in the area have been catering to tourists and pilgrims for centuries, and products on sale range from local specialties such as Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets and pickles to the standard set of souvenirs. On your way back, you might want to stop and window shop or taste some of the treats if time allows.
Your full day has given you an overview of everyone's favorite city in Japan.
Departures: 09:00 AM,
Meeting instructions: Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.
Special instructions: - Public transportation is included in the tour cost.
- A stop for lunch will occur when you are ready.