Private Scholar-led Kyoto Walking Tour: Shintoism And Buddhism In Japan

From USD 486.66
Per Person
Risk Free

You can cancel later upto 2 days in advance, so lock in this price today.

Tour Information

Key Details

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  • Instant Confirmation
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  • Duration: 3 Hrs
  • Departure Time :
    10am 1pm
  • Departure Details :
    Meets near the Yasaka Shrine in Gion
  • Return Details :
    Yasaka Shrine
  • Cancellation Policy :
    Cancel up to 2 days in advance for a full refund


If you want to possess a deeper understanding of Shintoism and Buddhism, the religions of Japan, this private 3-hour walking tour of Kyoto is the perfect introduction. A local scholar will guide your private party through the streets of Gion and take you to several spiritual sites in the cultural capital. Explore Yasaka Shrine, Kennin-ji Temple and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Youll learn about the symbols and structures of these Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, and discover the daily rituals of resident monks.


  • Step back in time on a history tour
  • Perfect introduction for first-time visitors

Know More about this tour

After meeting your guide at Lawson's General Store in Kyoto, begin your private 3-hour tour with a stroll through the historical Gion district. Your private guide will provide a scholarly introduction to the historical and present-day religions that infuse Japanese culture. Listen to a fascinating discussion on the synchronicity of spiritual traditions, beliefs and rituals of Shintoism and its indigenous tribal origins and Buddhism, which was imported from China and Central Asia.

Walk to the Yasaka shrine and explore the numerous gates and halls of the Shinto complex. Witness the temizu, a ritual hand washing conducted before entering a Shinto shrine, as your guide outlines the basic principles of this spiritual belief system and introduces you to the kami, spiritual deities. Youll also discover the role of folklore and its use in the nationalism promoted by the 19th-century Meiji regime.

Passing again through Gion, wend your way toward one of Kyotos most renowned temples, the Kiyomizu-dera. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed temple was established in 788 AD and its main hall, perched halfway up Otowa Mountain, provides amazing views across the city. Your introduction to Buddhism begins with a basic understanding of the way temple complexes are structured. Here, learn how charms and amulets are used to help change ones fortune or provide protection.

Your final stop is the Zen Buddhist temple complex of Kennin-ji, rebuilt several times since it was established in 1202 AD. As you explore the complex with your guide, youll gain a better understand of the daily life of Buddhist monks, and discover how work and meditation are used to reach enlightenment. Structures you might visit are the Abbot's Quarters, the Dharma Hall (Hatto), a teahouse built in the 16th century and the Imperial Messenger Gate.

After the cultural immersion of your private walking tour, youll be better prepared to explore Japan's religious sites on your own!


  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Private tour


  • Entrance fee to sites, JPY800 (approx.)
  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking

Adult pricing applies to all travelers

Minimum age is 10 years

A maximum of 6 people per booking

Please note that you may be asked to remove your footwear at some temples