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Top 5 Free Walking Tours in Kyoto for Any Season in Japan

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Tourist Attractions in Kyoto
[Kiyomizu-dera Temple | Image Courtesy of Jordy Meow / Pixabay]

Top 5 Free Walking Tours in Kyoto for Any Season in Japan

Kyoto is the best city to experience authentic Japanese tradition, culture, entertainment, and nature all in one place. From lush mountains and relaxing gardens to old yet inspiring Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, Kyoto will leave you in awe.

If you are visiting Kyoto for the first time and you are balling on a budget, we can’t recommend doing Kyoto free walking tours enough — no matter what season it is.

Check out these top 5 Kyoto free walking tours you can join for any season.

1. Free Walking Tour Kyoto

Tourist Attractions in Kyoto
[Yasaka Pagoda | Image Courtesy of Sourasak / Unsplash]

A host of independent local tour guides and small tour agencies in Kyoto offer free walking tours. Most free walking tour Kyoto include popular sites where you don’t need to spend a dime, such as Gion Shirakawa, Chionin Sanmon, Yasaka Pagoda, Sannei Zaka, and Kiyomizu Temple. In a historic city like Kyoto, there’s a lot to say about the tradition and culture which what local tour guides will share with you along your trip.

2. Free Walking Tour Gion

Tourist Attractions in Kyoto
[Shirakawa Canal | Image Courtesy of Wenjie Zhang / Flickr]

Gion is the geisha district and heart of Kyoto. If you want to explore more of Gion, a lot of tours can guide you around the district. Hanamikoji is the most popular street in Kyoto for its magnificent cherry blossom viewing lane.

Dubbed as the prettiest street in Gion, Shimbashi boasts traditional buildings and willow trees lining up the Shirakawa canal. The streets of Nawate, Shinmozen, and Furumonzen are home to the best traditional craft and antique shops in Kyoto. Other points of interest around the district include the Minamiza Kabuki Theater, Meyami Jizo, Gion Corner, Yasui Kompira-gu Shrine, Kennin-ji Temple, Ebisu Shrine, and Cafe Opal, among many others.

3. Kyoto Evening Walking Tour

Tourist Attractions in Kyoto
[Nishi Market | Image Courtesy of Lorena / Wikimedia Commons]

While most Kyoto free walking tours will bring you to Gion, the district has a lot to offer that a day of strolling isn’t enough. At night, there’s a whole new world in Gion. Most free night walking tours in Kyoto are food crawl and bar-hopping.

As the dusk falls, it makes for the perfect timing to watch teahouses light up and spot maiko scurrying for their appointments. If you are looking for some traditional and modern Japanese delicacies and goodies, Nishiki Market is the place to be. It’s called “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” after all! If you want to pub-crawl, Pontocho has everything you need in a tight alley filled with bars, restaurants, and food stalls of all stripes.

4. Arashiyama Free Walking Tour

Tourist Attractions in Kyoto
[Arashiyama Bamboo Grove | Image Courtesy of Alexander de Leon Battista / Flickr]

The district of Arashiyama is home to the second most popular tourist attraction in Kyoto — Arashiyama Bamboo Grove or Sagano Bamboo Forest. While Kyoto free walking tours going this route are rare, you can find many independent guides to bring you here.

Arashiyama is also home to several temples, including Adashino-Nembutsu Temple, Nison-in Temple, Jojako-ji Temple, and Tiny Gio-ji Temple. Other tourist attractions worthy of a visit include the Hozu River, Togetsu-kyo Bridge, Kameyama-koen Park, Rakushisha Poet’s Hut, Okochi-Sanso Villa, Katsura Rokyu Imperial Villa, and Tenzan-no-yu Onsen, among others.

5. Kyoto Guided Walking Tours

Tourist Attractions in Kyoto
[Kiyomizu-dera Temple | Image Courtesy of Bernard Spragg / Flickr]

For custom walking tours in Kyoto, you definitely want to check out some Kyoto guided walking tours. If there are tourist attractions that you would want to visit and save some bucks, this is the best option there is. Guided walking tours can’t get any better if you are going to visit crowded places such as Fushimi Inari Shrine, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, and Kiyomizudera Temple.


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.




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