Kyoto & Nara


Being the imperial capital of Japan for over a thousand years, ancient Kyoto holds a special place in the hearts of many people.

Surrounded by scenic hills to the north, west and east, and described by the founding Emperor Kammu as a natural fortress, the city reigned from 794 to 1868 as the cultural and artistic centre of the nation - a position it still holds today thanks to being unscathed by war, allowing its many temples and shrines to flourish.

But before Kyoto gained its fame, the first established capital of Japan was set in a different city. Just one hour away from Kyoto, Nara offers a variety of picturesque views. Home to more than a few hundred deer, roaming freely in search of tasty crackers, the ancient roads of Nara will take you on a journey along Japan’s oldest treasures.

Due to its past as the first permanent capital of the country, the city remains a place full of historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples. Worth mentioning is Todai-ji Temple, which is the largest wooden structure in the world and home to the magnificent statue of Buddha.


Kyoto highlightsNara highlights
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
  • See Geisha in Gion
  • Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine
  • Kinkaku-ji: The Golden Pavilion
  • Todai-ji
  • Daibutsu
  • Hōryū-ji
  • Nara Park



  • Accommodation:

    A variety of western style hotels, ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) and machiya (wooden townhouses) are widely available in Kyoto. Transportation:
    Kyoto is served by JR trains. The best way to get there is by train, from Tokyo or Osaka.

    Transportation:
    Kyoto is served by JR trains. The best way to get there is by train, from Tokyo or Osaka.

    When to go:
    Kyoto is beautiful during all four seasons. The busiest times to visit: Cherry Blossom, Golden week (Japanese holiday in the beginning of May), Obon (Japanese national holiday in mid-August), Momiji season (when the leaves start changing colours). During these days, the streets will be overcrowded and the hotels fully-booked. July and August are very hot and humid months.

    Local food speciality:
    Kyo Kaiseki (Kyoto style Kaiseki Ryori)
    Yudofu (boiled tofu)
    Yuba (tofu skin)
    Namafu (popular meat substitute, typically eaten by the Buddhist monks)


    Suggested itineraries:
    Hidden Japan Tour [Tokyo, Nikko, Hakone, Kyoto, Mt. Koya, Osaka]
    Classic Japan

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    2019 Golden Route Autumn Assisted Tour
    [Assisted] 10 daysJoin our assisted autumn tour and visit Japan's most iconic sites and locations in Tokyo, Nikko, Hakone, Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima. You can experience the authentic apirit of Ja..
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    Family Holidays to Japan [Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka]
    [Self-Guided] 9 daysIf you are planning a visit to Japan for you and your family, seek no more. There are so many things to do and see for the young ones, that they might not want to go back. Visiting..
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    Hidden Japan Tour [Tokyo, Nikko, Hakone, Kyoto, Mt. Koya, Osaka]
    [Assisted] 10 daysThis is a truly special tour, not just because it includes plenty of assisted day tours of must-see locations, but also because it offers the opportunity to experience an element of ..
    from £ 3,040
    Japan 3 Wishes Tour [Okinawa, Tokyo, Kyoto]
    [Self-Guided] 10 days.  South of mainland Japan are the tropical islands of Okinawa. Famous for their white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and all-year-round flowers in bloom, Okinawa has lo..
    from £ 2,900
    Japan Favourites Tour [Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto]
    [Assisted] 8 days Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto~ This Japan's Favourites Tour package offers you the chance to see three unique faces of Japan in one trip! It is a truly a rich and unforgettable experie..
    from £ 2,165
    Samurai, Geisha and Castles Tour [Tokyo, Nikko, Nagoya, Kanazawa, Kyoto]
    [Self-Guided] 11 days See Japan as it was two centuries ago...samurai districts, geisha tea houses and beautiful castles surrounded by moats.Included in this tour:☑ Economy class non-direct flights fr..
    from £ 2,430
    Traditional & Modern Japan [Tokyo, Hakone, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kyoto, Nara]
    [Assisted] 9 daysExperience the full spectrum of Japanese history and culture joining our Traditional & Modern Japan Tour. Starting in the neon metropolis of Tokyo, step back in time as you travel..
    from £ 2,520
    【SOLD OUT】Japanese Winter Wonderland Tour [Hakuba, Matsumoto, Takayama, Kyoto]
    【SOLD OUT】[Self-Guided] 11 daysHakuba is one of the finest ski resorts in Japan offering skiers and snowboarders excellent quality of powder snow. The tour provides top accommodation where you can rel..
    from £ 3,310
    Cities of Asia Tour [Hong Kong, Tokyo, Kyoto]
    [Self-Guided] 9 days ViaJapan Holidays lives up to its name with this great opportunity to visit Japan's two most popular cities, as well as Hong Kong, the gateway to Asia.As English is widely spoken ..
    from £ 1,860
    World Heritage Sites of Japan [Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Mt. Koya, Hiroshima, Kagoshima]
    [Self-Guided] 15 days Visit the most beautiful World Heritage Sites of Japan and enjoy delicious cuisine, futon bedding and onsen bathing. Experience the austere life of Buddhist monks in Koyasan a..
    from £ 2,700
    All in One Tour [Hong Kong, Tokyo, Takayama, Kyoto, Okinawa]
    [Self-Guided] 13 days Start your trip with two nights in Hong Kong, a country with a rich mixture of Chinese and British culture. From there, travel to the most important places in Japan to learn..
    from £ 2,830
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