Kyoto Early Bird Tour

Badge of ExcellenceKyoto, Japan
Kyoto Early Bird Tour
Likely to Sell Out

From USD 92.42

Price varies by group size

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 5 hours 15 minutes
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Kyoto is one of Japan’s most popular travel destinations and with over 50 million annual visitors, it can get busy. This tour makes an early start so you can avoid the crowds and cram much more into your day. Stroll around the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove before the tour groups arrive, visit Kinkaku-ji temple (Golden Pavilion) right as it opens, and walk through the torii gates of Fushimi Inari (Shrine) before the midday heat.
  • Guided visits to three top Kyoto attractions
  • Early-morning departure to avoid the crowds
  • Stunning views of Kinkaku-ji temple in the morning light
  • Finishes before midday so your afternoon is free

What's Included

  • Guide fee
  • Admission fees. 500yen@Kinkaku-ji Temple
  • Drink and Food
  • Transportation fare. 760 yen for JR Lines, 460 yen for City Bus

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Kyoto Station Building
    901 Higashishiokōjichō, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8216, Japan

    Kyoto Station in front of the central ticket gates of the JR lines on the ground floor. They are on the north side of the station where Kyoto Tower is located.

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

1 hour Admission Ticket Free

Kinkakuji Temple

1 hour Admission Ticket Not Included


1 hour Admission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Infant seats available
  • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Stroller accessible
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accessible for those with limited eye sight
  • Accessible for those with limited mobility
  • Animals or pets allowed
  • Infant seats unavailable
  • Not recommended for people with heart conditions
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • comfortable shoes for walking; quite a bit of walking required
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 8 travellers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Traveller Photos

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175 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 175 reviews
Excellent way to see Kyoto's main sights
Beverley_M, Oct 2023
This was the perfect tour to see Kyoto's key sights. Our guide led us on several modes of public transport efficiently, and we were so glad we hadn't had to navigate ourselves, as the sights are quite far apart. Our guide was excellent, and the pace of the tour was perfect. So glad we did this tour.
Loved this tour! We got...
KaylaK, Sept 2023
Loved this tour! We got to experience Fushimi Inari without the crowds. This was a bucket list must so being there without a swarm of people was so memorable. The other stops were great and the pace was perfect. Tokuda was a great tour guide, and gave us a lot of suggestions for our stay in Kyoto. Would recommend this tour!
Fuji-San was very...
Elna_S, Sept 2023
Fuji-San was very friendly and knowledgeable. It was a breeze going through the various train terminals with him. We enjoyed all of the locations led by Fuji-San, Kinkakuji temple, and Fushimi Imari-Trisha temple and the bamboo forest at Arashiyama. It was super hot for us in the last week of September so I would recommend bringing a hat or umbrella if the weather forecasts for a hot day. I would definitely recommend Fuji-San as a guide to my friends!
10 stars
Heidi_C, Sept 2023
Miho was amazing. Clear English and interesting information, she even had a booklet of diagrams and images to help explain. Miho was patient with 3 daughters, ensured we had bathroom stops and navigated the train and bus routes with ease so the whole morning was super efficient. Miho went above and beyond to answer all our questions and make recommendations. She even gave us origami cranes as a gift. A wonderful experience. Thank you
Fantastic tour with a fabulous tour guide.
Cherie_W, Sept 2023
We had such a great time with our tour guide Naoko, who enriched our experience with her extensive knowledge on the history and culture of the sites we visited. It was a really hot day when we did the tour and my kids were not up for all the walking, so the tour was tweaked for their needs, without missing out on key elements. It would've taken much longer to navigate getting to all these places on public transport ourselves, so it is definitely worth doing if you have younger children and a limited time frame to take in some of the gorgeous sites of Kyoto. Thanks so much Naoko.
3 spots in few hours
ClaudiaParra, Sept 2023
Our tour guide Shigeyuki was absolutely fantastic! He made sure we stayed together with so many tourists around and he answered all our questions while also walking we 15k steps. Learned a lot and had fun!
Early tour
Maureen_M, Sept 2023
Having a knowledgeable guide enhanced the experience. It was nice to learn about the history. Enjoyed that it was not as crowded by going early!
Response from Host, Sept 2023
We're delighted to have received your positive review and happy to know that you were able to see the sights before they got too crowded. Thank you for taking the time to write a review!
Kommy leads a great tour
Matt_M, Sept 2023
Kommy was great. Super helpful and informative to have a guide as you scoot around the city. We learned and saw things we never would have seen on our own. Highly recommend!
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Thank you for your kind words and positive review! It means a lot to us to know that you enjoyed the tour and saw lots of new things.
Kyoto Tour With Seiya. Simply Amazing.
Angela_C, Sept 2023
To start, I would like to commend our guide- Seiya, on his communication via WhatsApp prior to the start of the tour. Any questions I had, he answered thoroughly and in a timely manner. He reached out days prior to the tour to go over the meeting point and he included detailed instructions. The instructions were easy to follow and understand. We were greeted by Seiya at Kyoto Station and he held up a sign with my name on it! I was surprised by this not knowing that I signed up for a private tour. My partner and I were very excited for this personal tour experience. At the start, Seiya carefully explained to us the map of the excursions for the day. He was also kind enough to bring ice cold water bottles for us (during the hot & humid summer)! The tours at all 3 temples/famous sites were amazingly beautiful. My partner and I gained tons of knowledge thanks to Seiya. If we visted these temples without Seiya, there would have been no way we would've learned so much. There were things we learned that you can't even find on the internet. We spent a good amount of time at each site and Seiya always offered to take our photos! He was so kind, funny, and generous with his time. We had a minor hiccup with our rail passes towards the end of our tour (which was 100% our fault). Even in Seiya's instructional message on WhatsApp he includes how much yen to have on the passes. So clearly, I just did not read thorough enough. Overall, my partner and I had the time of our lives thanks to Seiya and your company. Thank you all so very much. We will 100% recommend you to our family and friends that visit Kyoto! Kind Regards, Angela Carandang
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a wonderful and detailed review! We are more than happy that you enjoyed your time with Seiya so much and we will let him know. Actually the tour is not private, but on this day it was only the two of you :) Thank you again and all the best to you!
Family trip in Japan
Valerie_H, Sept 2023
We had a wonderful experience with Hironori as our guide. He shared so much information about the Japanese culture and Kyoto. We highly recommend this tour. Thanks for a great day, Hironori!
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Thank you for your generous words and excellent review. We will let Hironori know that you were happy to have learnt so much about Kyoto and Japan.
Great tour great guide and very informative
Tina_F, Sept 2023
Great tour guide who gave us a really good booklet on what we were going to see and do. He also kept checking that we were ok with all the walking. We loved Aryshima
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Thank you for taking the time to leave a positive review. We're grateful for your support and happy to know that you liked your tour in Kyoto.
So worth it
Shannon_S, Sept 2023
Naoko was an amazing tour guide with so much knowledge and passion. Not only did she educate us on the incredible history of these tourist sites - we also chatted in depth about so much more, like Kyoto food, etiquette, and clothing. Highly recommend this tour for anyone, as it is a very efficient way to see all these sites in 1 day without having to worry about navigating transportation.
Response from Host, Sept 2023
We're thrilled to receive your positive review and to know that Naoko was able to give you insights into the history as well as modern life in Kyoto. Thank you for your feedback.
Wonderful tour
Jeffrey_F, Sept 2023
We are early risers so this was the perfect tour for us. Our guide, Satomi, was kind, patient, knowledgeable and spoke better English than some native speakers I know. The route between these sites is a bit complicated so having someone to help get around was appreciated. If you have but a short time in Kyoto this is the tour for you! Getting there before the crowds become (too) bad is the icing on the cake.
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Your words of appreciation mean a lot to us. Happy to know that Satomi was a good navigator while also sharing her knowledge of her native city. Thank you for your wonderful review.
Perfect way to see lots of the key sights in Kyoto
William_P, Sept 2023
This is the perfect tour to take if you want to see the historical sites through the eyes of a local. Mari was an excellent guide. She took time to go in depth and explain the historical significance and origin of the shrines and temples we visited. She was funny, informative, and very engaging throughout our entire tour. Highly recommend booking this tour with Mari.
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Thank you so much for your warm review! We are very happy to know that Mari was able to share her knowledge of the sights while keeping the tour engaging and interesting.
Loved our trip
Carola_S, Aug 2023
We loved our trip with Hideo! A fantastic guide with so much passion for his guests and country. ++++++
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Thank you so much for your lovely review! We are thrilled that you loved your tour with Hideo.
Would recommend this tour.
Faith_L, Aug 2023
Santa our guide was great. He was knowledgeable and attentive. The sites visited were beautiful. We had a wonderful time.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
We're so grateful for your positive review. Thank you for choosing us.
Amazing morning without any crowds!
Emmanuelle_C, Aug 2023
Our tour guide, Misae, was wonderful! She took really good care of us and especially of my mother, making sure we stayed hydrated and even lending us an umbrella against the sweltering heat of August. She is quite knowledgeable and we learned many amazing facts about the sites and Japanese culture in general. It was amazing to get to all three of those very touristy sites before the crowds arrived. We begun with the Fushimi Inari, which we almost had to ourselves. We had time for an ice cream, then on to the Golden Pavillion, just before the opening time. It got crowded fast, I'm so glad we were there early. Then we had a quick stop in a shop that caught our eye, and a quick bite of a local sweet, and we went on to the bamboo forest. I would most definitely recommend this tour! We could never have done all three sites this efficiently by ourselves!
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Thank you for leaving such a fantastic review! We're thrilled that you had a great experience and were able to enjoy the tour's sites without crowds. Of course in the summer there are less tourists than in spring or autumn. Glad to know that you made it through the heat unharmed!
Must do Kyoto tour!
Jory_K, Aug 2023
Our group of 4 had an amazing time at our early bird Kyoto tour. Naoko was so knowledgeable and provided lots of interesting information about each of our stops, and was even kind enough to provide many helpful recommendations for the rest of our stay in Kyoto. We will be recommending this tour to anyone travelling to Kyoto!
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Thank you for your kind words and positive review! It means a lot to us and we are thrilled to know that you enjoyed your tour with Naoko and got to hear lots of interesting facts about Kyoto.
Good morning, Kyoto
Iryna_G, Aug 2023
Our guide Seiya was very knowledgeable and patient. It was a pleasure exploring Kyoto together and I highly recommend this tour. The start is early but you'll beat the heat and the crowds.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Your words of appreciation mean a lot to us! The start of the tour IS a bit early, but especially in midsummer it helps to avoid the heat. Thank you for taking the time to write a review.
Kaz was excellent tour guide for this tour!
Derek_D, July 2023
We had Kaz for a tour guide and he was excellent! So knowledgeable about the 3 sites we saw and their history and cultural significance. He spoke great English and was so easy to converse with. So glad we did this tour and would recommend to anyone.
Response from Host, July 2023
Thank you for your generous words and excellent review! We are thrilled to know that Kaz was informative and at the same time easy to be with. We appreciate your support.

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