The 5 Best Walking Tours in Kyoto
Updated: May 11, 2019
The 5 Best Walking Tours in Kyoto
Walking tours in Kyoto are quite popular for a lot of reasons. For the most part, walking tours in Kyoto make it so much easier for travelers to explore this old city.
If it’s your first time visiting Kyoto or you’re traveling with your family, it can be very tricky to navigate around the city.
But worry not because we’ve got you covered. To make it easier for you to plan out your Kyoto trip, we’ve listed the five best walking tours in Kyoto. They’re not necessarily guided or paid (because you can find them online), just a rough idea where to go or what to visit.
1. Fushimi Inari Shrine Walking Tour in Kyoto
Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the most popular Kyoto attractions. This Shinto shrine has become the face of Kyoto as it’s the most photographed tourist spot in the city. Before reaching the top of Fushimi Inari Shrine, you need to walk through a 4-kilometer trail and steps and pass by small shrines and arcades of torii or gates.
Fushimi Inari Shrine can get really crowded most parts of the day, but the calmness of the place makes it manageable. You can find a lot of walking tours in Kyoto that will bring you to Fushimi Inari Shrine.
2. Arashiyama Walking Tour in Kyoto
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, or Sagano Bamboo Forest, is also one of the most iconic Kyoto attractions. Located in Arashiyama district, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the ‘100 Soundscapes of Japan.’ It’s a program of the national government to protect natural environments and fight noise pollution. As you pass through the grove, you will hear meditative natural sounds that will transport you to a seemingly new dimension.
Going to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove takes about 30 minutes from central Kyoto and is free of charge. But if you want to add more depth to your visit to the site, you can get a guide or join a walking tour in Kyoto.
3. Gion Walking Tour in Kyoto
Gion is the geisha district of Kyoto that lies at the heart of the city, which makes the area a good place for geisha sighting. But more than that, you can experience a lot of things around the district that will take you back to the old Kyoto.
Some really cool spots to visit in Gion are Shijo Avenue (shopping area), Hanamikoji Street (fine dining and boutique area), Yasaka Shrine, Tatsumi Bridge, Minamiza Theater, Gion Corner (a theater), Yasui Kompira-gu Shrine, Kenninji Temple, Ebisu Shrine, Shimbashi Street, Sannenzaka, and Ninenzaka, among many others. You can visit all these spots all by yourself, but if you want someone to guide, of course, there are available walking tours in Kyoto to accommodate you.
4. Higashiyama Walking Tour in Kyoto
Higashiyama is a ward where you can just roam around and find the most interesting spots in the city. It’s home to the best fine-dining restaurants and shops in Kyoto. While Higashiyama is too big to explore in one day, you can choose to divide it in two--north and south.
Southern Higashiyama, where Gion is located, is where most crowds are. Some Kyoto attractions in southern Higashiyama include Kiyomizu Temple, Chionin Temple, Kodaiji Temple, Kyoto National Museum, Maruyama Park, Neno-no-Michi Lane, and Ishibei-koji Alley. Northern Higashiyama, where most museums are, is less crowded. Some Kyoto attractions in northern Higashiyama include the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto Museum of Traditional Arts, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Robert Yellin Gallery, Nanzenji Temple, Konchiin Temple, Heian Shrine, and Eikando Temple.
5. Nishiki Market Walking Tour in Kyoto
Whether you’re joining a walking tour in Kyoto or walking alone, we highly recommend visiting Nishiki Market. Known as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen,’ the market has been around for 400 years offering a range of traditional and modern Japanese delicacies and goods. Many free walking tours in Kyoto will bring you to Nishiki Market so better take advantage of that. Note that Nishiki Market is a cash-only market.
That wraps up our list for the best walking tours in Kyoto. Which Kyoto tours are you looking forward to doing?
And if you’re looking for free things to do in Kyoto, we’ve made a list of the best things to do in Kyoto without having to spend a dime, so be sure to check that out.
Kyoto is the heart of Japan and has rich history and culture. Our walking tours will show you why. On our Walking Tours you will learn about the Old and New Kyoto, tradition, religion, history, food, and culture. Free Walking Tours in Kyoto | Kyoto Walking Tours. Book your free walking tour of Kyoto today.