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Tour Information

Tour Details

Overview

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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Highlights

  • Excellent value for money
  • Family friendly
  • Get inside tips from a local
  • Multiple departure times and locations available
  • Pickup from a centrally located meeting point
  • Tour is wheelchair accessible
  • Great overview and orientation of the city
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Know More about this tour

Meet your informative local guide in either Arashiyama or Higashiyama (depending on option selected) and hop aboard an authentic rickshaw, a two-passenger wagon pulled by a person, invented in Japan in the late 19th century. As a historic, cosmopolitan city, Kyoto has an abundance of sites that should top every traveler’s list, but walking to all of them can be tiring and time-consuming. A rickshaw offers a comfortable, fun way to zip from one attraction to the next while learning about the city from your guide and driver. This tour is customizable; discuss with the rickshaw driver what you’d like to see. See Itinerary below two itineraries, one for Arashiyama and one for Higashiyama.

Click on “View Additional Info” for the rickshaw meeting locations.
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Inclusions for Kyoto Rickshaw Tour

  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Rickshaw ride
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Exclusions for Kyoto Rickshaw Tour

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks
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Itinerary:

Option one: Arashiyama
Your guide and chariot await at Kyoto’s iconic Togetsu-kyo bridge in Arashiyama, a nationally designated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty on Kyoto’s western fringe. Be amazed by the district’s main attraction, a towering grove of thick bamboo stalks with a pedestrian and rickshaw path cutting through it. Seeing its beauty, you’ll understand why the Japanese have a fond appreciation for nature. Admire the scenery, which is a blend of serene nature, tended gardens, and dazzling shrines, as your rickshaw driver pulls you up the mountain. Next you’ll see the beautiful Nonomiya Shrine, a Shinto site. If you’ve chosen the 30-minute tour, at this point you’ll end back at the starting point. But if you choose a longer tour, up to 3 hours, you’ll continue through more of Arashiyama’s wealth of sites. Explore Rakushisya’s cottage, a rustic thatch-roof cottage that was once the home of one of Japan’s revered poets and haiku masters. Those continuing on will be pulled to spots not seen by many tourists. Explore more ancient temples, including Shinto shrines and the Buddhist Nison-in, as your guide whisks you through some amazing places before returning to Togetsu-kyo bridge.

Option two: Higashiyama

Meet your guide and rickshaw at the stunning Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto’s famed Gion entertainment district in Higashiyama, where geishas (known as geiko in Kyoto) still stroll the stone streets. You’ll want your camera out and ready, especially for the first portion of the tour, as you stop at the Shinto Heian Jingu Shrine and then wheel down Oyashiki street, a historic avenue lined with maple trees that turn red in autumn and cherry trees that blossom with pink flowers in spring. This is your best chance to see geishas or maiko (an apprentice geisha). Take in the history, which you can see reflected in the lattice-cloaked wood buildings. Admire the Nanzen-ji Buddhist temple, established by Emperor Kameyama in 1921, and then head on to the beautiful orange Heian Jingu Shrine. If you’re continuing on the rickshaw beyond 30 minutes for the extended tour (from 45 minutes to 3 hours), you’ll have the opportunity to see the breadth of Kyoto’s temples and shrines in the Higashiyama district, such as the Chion-in, Kennin-ji, Miyagawa-cho and Yasaka Pagoda, in addition to other iconic sites like the Shirakawa riverside and Nene-no-michi, a lane named after the wife of a famous warlord that is now a scenic flagstone walkway. At the end of the tour, you’ll return to the departure point.
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Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking

  • Adult pricing applies to age 7 and over
  • Children 6 years and under may sit on an adult’s lap
  • A maximum of 2 adults per rickshaw. Up to 2 children, 6 years and under, can ride with 2 adults (children have to ride on an adult's lap)
  • While rickshaws are able to fit two adults, each rickshaw is 21.1 inches (74 centimeters) wide, and it is sometimes more comfortable to book individual rickshaws for each passenger. For passengers of size, we recommend booking a rickshaw for each participant to ensure a comfortable ride. Passengers who do not both fit in one rickshaw but wish to participate in a tour at the same time will be required to purchase an additional rickshaw, which may not be available on the date of the tour with an English-speaking guide if not booked in advance. Those customers who do not purchase an additional rickshaw at the time of booking cannot be guaranteed availability
  • Please select your preferable itinerary and duration option at checkout
  • Wheelchair- and stroller-friendly
  • Not recommended for pregnant women
  • This tour can be customized depending on your interests
  • Important: Please specify your preferable departure time at checkout -
    Between November 18th - December 3rd 2017, there will be limited departure times.
    Kyoto Arashiyama: 8am, 8:30am, 9am, 9:30am, 10am
    Kyoto Higashiyama: 9am, 9:30am, 10am

  • Tour will run later during the listed dates below (time is subject change, please contact the local operator for further information):
  • Arashiyama: Summer hour (5/1 to 8/30) - until 6pm; Hanatouro (12/11 to 12/20) - until 8pm

    Higashiyama: Hanatouro (3/6 to 3/15) - until 9pm; Cherry blossom light-up (3/28 to 4/12) - until 9pm; Summer hour (5/1 to 8/30) - until 6pm; Autumn foliage light-up (11/14 to 12/6) - until 9pm

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    Cancellation Policy
    • If you cancel within 3 calendar days (72 hours) of the scheduled departure time, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the undiscounted tour price.
    • If you cancel between 4 to 7 Calendar days before scheduled tour departure,the cancellation charge will be 50% of the undiscounted tour price.
    • If you cancel at least 8 calendar days in advance of the scheduled departure time, there is no cancellation fee. You will receive Full Refund for the paid amount.
    • Please note that in case of No show, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the listed tour fare.
    • Please note tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.
    Reviews

    Write A Review

    32 reviews by the users

    • Awesome tour! He was able to take me places I never would have found myself. We were almost the only ones at three different shrines and temples, on a day when the main strip was packed. Thanks again!

    • This event was outstanding and one of the highlights of the trip to Japan for my kids and grandkids. The young men who pulled for the family were excellent and the family loved them. You have an excellent company and I would recommend it to anyone traveling to Japan and Kyoto. Thank you for your service.

      Rick Younts

    • The guides were superb, superb in knowledge about the ancient area, super friendly and super helpful. Highly recommended to all first timers. Although slightly pricey but great value.

    • We enjoyed this tour. Our guide was very friendly telling us of past history and answering our many questions. He also took the time to take photos which will remind us of Kyoto. We visited temples, the bamboo forest, etc., which we could not have done by foot given the limited time we had.

    • Excellent experience in Kyoto! My wife and I made a last minute decision to do a rickshaw tour and we couldn't be happier with the experience. We did a 45 minute tour, but we wish we had done a full hour. Kiyo was our driver and he was awesome! Very nice and informative, I got the feeling that all the drivers were exceptionally nice because whenever we passed another rickshaw they always gave us a big wave and smile. Kyoto is a beautiful place and the rickshaw is a cool way of seeing the sights, especially the bamboo forest. It was raining when we went, which at first I was bummed about, but the rickshaw is set up to block the rain and they had blankets and seat warmers to keep us comfortable. I would actually prefer to do the rickshaw on a rainy day to avoid having to walk around with a poncho and umbrella. Cannot recommend enough, worth every penny!

    • Did we get lucky or is this how every Rickshaw guide and tour go? We went first thing in the morning 10 AM which turned out to be a great time to weave through the streets before the foot traffic or other vehicles make it more difficult to travel. Our guide spoke English very well and was very accommodating for pictures and a visit to the temple and shrines in the area. Two hours of conversations on the history of the area and viewing the area in a nice pace made this an extraordinary ride. The directions given to meet the area of the start of the tour were great. The picture helped and we were there with no problem. As with most directions of where to go to in Japan be on the safe side and get your directions translated into Kanji so that your cab drivers can take you to the correct area.

    • My friend whom I was traveling with really wanted to do a rickshaw tour. We booked this tour before we left the states. They provided us with confirmations and Ebisuya emailed us before the trip with great directions for our meet up location and even a photo of what the area looked like. It was very easy to find, being right outside a station, esp with the description I had printed out. Our guide was Cookie Kukie, and we couldn't have asked for a better guide. He was kind and funny with very good English explanations. He showed us the area map and told us he would take us to the bamboo forest area and explained several options for routes, but then suggested a temple he knew that would not be overrun with tourists, which we took him up on. He took so many photos and wasn't intimidated by my large nikon, doing an excellent job. I was really grateful for the photos of the two of us, since we didn't get many during the trip of both of us. The temple he took us too was so peaceful. We were the only two people there and the grounds were lovely. He explained to us the burial area of two enemy samurais. We were on the one hour tour. We asked for lunch suggestions, which he pointed out on our way back into town. There are multiple rickshaw companies in Kyoto and they stand on the streets looking for people who may want tours, booking right then if available, but I was glad I booked in advance. The cost was completely worth it. I can't say enough positive things about our guide and totally recommend him! I don't have a single negative thing to report about this experience. They were professional, friendly, and their communication before I left the states was on point. I also loved that it turns out that the tour length we booked meant we received postcards at the end featuring rickshaw art and a sticker. A fun bonus at the end. He asked us multiple times about our comfort and if we would like to carriage top open or closed. He had a good sense of humor and was very knowledgeable. I was quite happy with the whole experience and especially Cookie.

    • The highlight of our entire two weeks in Japan. This was a perfect experience from beginning to end. We splurged on a two-hour tour and don't regret a minute or a penny of it. We saw things off the tourist track, and were able to relax and enjoy small neighborhoods, historic shrines, a thatched-roof haiku poet's home and a small portion of the bamboo forest from the comfort of our rickshaw, with nice explanations from our amazing guide. At the end, we were treated to drive through ice cream as part of the tour. If you do just one thing while you are in Tokyo, do this!

    • Our family of 5 had a really wonderful time with our tour guides. We reserved 2 rickshaws and did the 1 hour tour. We highly recommend it for Fall or Spring, it was a beautiful day in Kyoto for us! We saw many attractions and they even took us further and dropped us off near the next site we wanted to visit. These men we extremely kind, friendly, and strong with great endurance...my husband is a bodybuilder and weighs a ton! Thank you Kyoto Ricksaw Tour for a fantastic experience.

    • We thoroughly enjoyed our Kyoto Rickshaw Tour. Masaya was a terrific guide. He was highly professional and tailored our ride to suit our interests. He treated us like royalty and made our experience very enjoyable.

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    USD 40.84