Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan, is a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. As a first-time traveler, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go and what to see. In this article, we will guide you through a perfect day tour in Kyoto, covering some must-visit attractions and food.

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Morning: Visit the Iconic Fushimi Inari Taisha

Start your day early with a visit to Fushimi Inari Taisha, one of the most iconic Shinto shrines in Japan.

What is Fushimi Inari Taisha?

Fushimi Inari Taisha is a Shinto shrine located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan. It is famous for its thousands of torii gates, which form a mesmerizing tunnel-like path up the mountain. The shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice, prosperity, and foxes.

The Rich History Significance of Fushimi Inari Taisha’s Iconic Torii Gates

Fushimi Inari Taisha has a long and rich history dating back to the 8th century, when it was founded by the Hata family, who were known for their expertise in rice farming. The shrine grew in popularity over the centuries, and in the Edo period (1603-1868), it became a favorite destination for travelers and pilgrims.

The torii gates were donated by individuals and businesses as a way to show their gratitude to Inari for their prosperity and success. Today, there are over 10,000 torii gates on the mountain, donated by people from all over Japan.

Cultural Value of Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha has a significant cultural value as a symbol of Japan’s spiritual and cultural heritage. It is considered one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan, and its architecture and serene surroundings offer a glimpse into the country’s rich history and traditions. The shrine also plays an important role in the lives of Japanese people, who visit it to pray for prosperity, success, and good fortune.

Lunch: Savor Kyoto’s Traditional Cuisine

Kyoto is known for its exquisite cuisine, and you can’t leave without trying some of its traditional dishes. Head to Nishiki Market, also known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” where you can find a variety of food stalls selling local delicacies such as tofu, wagashi (Japanese sweets), and pickles. A must-try is the kaiseki ryori, a multi-course meal that showcases the best of Kyoto’s culinary tradition.

Join a Nishiki Market Private Tour

To make the most out of your visit, we highly recommend joining a half-day tour that starts at 11:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm. This Donburi Cooking Course and Nishiki Market Private Tour will take you on a journey through the 400-year old Nishiki Market, where you can see where local chefs shop and learn about the market’s history and significance.

The best part? You’ll get to make your own Donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish) using ingredients purchased in the market. After cooking, sit down with your fellow classmates and enjoy a delicious homemade meal. This private tour allows you to enjoy your time at your own pace, making it the perfect activity for foodies and those looking for an immersive cultural experience.

Afternoon: Stroll Through the Streets of Higashiyama

After lunch, take a leisurely stroll through Higashiyama, a historic district that retains the traditional charm of Kyoto. Visit Kiyomizu-dera, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a symbol of the city, and enjoy the panoramic view of Kyoto from its spacious wooden veranda. Then, wander through the narrow streets lined with old wooden buildings and shops selling souvenirs, tea, and pottery.

Kyoto Higashiyama Rickshaw Tour

For an even more immersive experience of the Higashiyama district, we recommend booking a Kyoto Higashiyama Rickshaw Tour. This tour takes you on a ride in a traditional rickshaw through the townhouses and flagstone paths, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty of this historic district. You can choose to visit historic temples and shrines or simply enjoy the atmosphere of the traditional district from the regal perch of a rickshaw.

In the Gion district, you can even enjoy a romantic rickshaw ride and perhaps catch a glimpse of a Geisha (Japanese female entertainers in traditional attire) on her way to an appointment. Your friendly rickshaw guide can also provide many tantalizing historical facts before dropping you off at a convenient location.

Evening: Admire the Beauty of Gion

End your day tour in Kyoto with a visit to Gion, the city’s most famous geisha district. You might be lucky enough to spot a geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha) walking down the street. Take a stroll along Hanami-koji, the main street of Gion, and admire the traditional architecture and ambiance of this enchanting neighborhood.


Kyoto is a city that offers endless possibilities to explore and discover. Although one day is not enough to see everything, this itinerary will give you a taste of the best of Kyoto. Don’t forget to bring your camera and an empty stomach to savor the delicious food. Enjoy your trip to Kyoto!

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