This private walking tour explores the Higashiyama ('Eastern Mountain') district of Kyoto. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and then off you head, following an exact itinerary meticulously designed by travel writer Chris Rowthorn to feature and highlight the very best of Kyoto. Obviously, as it is just you and the guide, you can venture off-piste following your interest, but the route works well and sticking to it provides a remarkable insight in to Kyoto - the 'must-see' sights and the backstreets and narrow pathways, including some hidden gems that most tours miss.
Higashiyama contains many of Kyoto’s most important temples, shrines, gardens and museums. You’ll start at top of Gojo Street (famous for its pottery shops) and work your way through an atmospheric Pure Land Buddhist cemetery before entering bustling Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Descend Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka, two of Kyoto’s most picturesque streets, lined with perfectly preserved houses before emerging into Maruyama-koen Park. From here, head via a back way to Chion-in Temple.
After a traditional Japanese lunch, you’ll enter the famed Zen temple known as Nanzen-ji, before heading west to Yoshida-yama, a hill that is home to two of Kyoto’s loveliest and least visited temples. After exploring these temples and their atmospheric graveyards, climb the top of Yoshida-yama, and wander through the greenery and admire the views from Yoshida-koen Park. Afterwards descend the hillside shrine of Yoshida-jinja, a fascinating complex of shrines surrounded by a lovely forest.