Full day in Kyoto with a local

See the famous sights – and Kyoto’s secret side – in just eight hours

(23 reviews)

  • Private &

  • 8 hours

  • From
    $53.75  USD
    per person
    based on 8 adults

  • Walking

  • Public transport

  • Multiple languages available
    (including English)

What you'll do

Kyoto may be famous for the ancient Kennin-ji Temple, shrines dating back to the 8th century, and traditional teahouse ceremonies – but there are many more sides to the city. From exploring 1200-year-old Kiyomizu-dera Temple to walking the wood-built streets of storybook-esque Higashiyama to glimpsing geishas in twinkling Gion, you could see the areas that narrate Japan’s history. Or, you could get a taste of modern Kyoto – an exhilarating world of late-night karaoke bars, draft beers in intimate izakayas, and 100-yen sushi in fluorescent restaurants. Share in local pastimes with your host, like eating gyoza dumplings at Kamo River, or jostling through Nishijin Market for the freshest street food. 

Where you'll go

You could walk the perfectly preserved streets of Higashiyama for a birds-eye city view from Yasaka Pagoda, or amble eight minutes north to Gion, Kyoto’s famous lantern-lit geisha district and nightlife hub. Maybe you’ll sample street food at centuries-old Nishiki Market, or perhaps head one mile west for green tea and pastel-colored wagashi confections in Sanjo-dori Shopping Street, a foodie’s paradise. In central Kyoto, history buffs can visit the old sake brewing district, Fushimi, or shop for beautiful textiles in the Nishijin weaving district. Outdoors, explore any number of famous temples set in tranquil gardens, or watch the sunset a 30-minute train ride north in Kurama – a natural hot spring nestled in pine tree-blanketed mountains.

  • Get a fully personalized experience so you make the most of your time in Kyoto

  • Experience the real Kyoto in just one day, with a local insider to show reveal the city

  • See the ancient and modern world collide, with temple trips by day and draft beer at a cozy izakaya by night

  • See 400-year-old Nishiki Market, where Japan’s best street food is waiting to be tasted

  • Walk through Japan’s famous geisha district, and be mesmerized by these breathtakingly talented entertainers

  • Learn about Kyoto from a local’s perspective – and get plenty of tips for the rest of your trip

This experience will be personalized to you!

What’s included

  • Private and personalized experience
  • 8 hours with a host
  • Walking experience and public transport if required
  • Hotel meet-up (available on request for central location)

What’s not included

  • Food and drinks
  • Tickets to any attractions
  • Transportation costs
  • Gratuities (optional)

Your hotel/apartment or any other central location

Cancel 7 days before the experience for a full refund

How does it work?

  • 1 Tell us about you!

    Tell us about you!

    Once you book, fill in a quick questionnaire and tell us what you’d like from your experience.
  • 2 We match you with a host

    We introduce you to your perfect local

    Build your perfect experience together
  • 3 The best part!

    The best part!

    Experience the city like you would with a knowledgeable friend living there

If you’re unsure about what experience to book or would like more information on how it all works, just email me here. I or someone from our Customer Experience Team will get in touch so we can suggest the perfect personalized experience for you.

If you prefer to speak to someone, feel free to send us your WhatsApp or cell number and we’ll give you a call back.

You may also like

Half day

Half day in kyoto with a local Old-world craftsmanship, beautiful temples and authentic insight into Japan’s 8th century capital.

  • Kyoto, Japan
  • 4 hours
  • from $41.25 USD per person
    • (20 reviews)
City Highlights

Must see Kyoto with a local 3000 temples, enchanting Zen gardens, Japanese sweets and geisha districts.

  • Kyoto, Japan
  • 8 hours
  • from $53.75 USD per person
    • (12 reviews)

Night in Kyoto with a local Floating geisha, paper lanterns lit at dusk and izakaya lined wooden alleyways.

  • Kyoto, Japan
  • 4 hours
  • from $67.25 USD per person
    • (12 reviews)
Food & Drink

Eat & drink like a local - izakaya experience Izakaya, tachinomiya, gyoza, sake and a host to help out with a translation or two.

  • Kyoto, Japan
  • 3 hours
  • from $94.38 USD per person
Food & Drink

Eat like a local in Kyoto Kaiseki, tachi-gui stand-and-eat restaurants and jostling for bentō boxes.

  • Kyoto, Japan
  • 4 hours
  • from $86.25 USD per person
Family Friendly

Full family day in Kyoto with a local Kimono dress-up in Gion, bamboo groves, pools of giant carp and slurping on ramen.

  • Kyoto, Japan
  • 8 hours
  • from $87.50 USD per person

Reviews for this experience

Great overview of the city

Justus was a great guide, knowledgeable and insightful on historical and cultural details. We used taxis to get round, not cheap but we saw a lot more of the city.

November 2019

Reviewed by Keith M , hosted by Omweri Justus

Hamiltons in Kyoto

We had a great day in Kyoto with Justus, our personal guide. Over an early coffee, Justus talked us through the various options. We wanted a fairly relaxed day without rushing round as many sites as possible. The trail through Arashiyama bamboo forest and along the river, followed by some street food for lunch was a highlight for us. Justus was excellent company throughout.

October 2019

Reviewed by Gordon H , hosted by Omweri Justus

Charming tour

Hello I had a charming and a delightful tour with Mr Taibi. He arrived on time to my hotel and gave me the choice to have a special tour where I choose my own areas or a predetermined Route with his choice. I choose the latter because I didn’t know anything about the city and wanted a person who lived here for a long time to show me around. First we went to the beautiful arashiyama forest he explained some of the history of the area and showed me different shops selling traditional things. Next we went to nishiki market using a very charming old train where we tried different kinds of foods and had lunch in a charming family owned restaurant. After that we visited Gion area and I saw the place where the geisha get ready. We had a funny encounter with some Chinese tourists dressed up like geishas as well. Mr Taibi also some personal places where he hangs out with his family and friends under a bridge which I thought was very charming. Finally we went to Yasaka Shrine in Gion And ended the tour there.what I really liked about the tour was that it included four various things. Nature in arashiyama,traditional and local food in nishiki market, heritage in Gion and religion in Yasaka shrine and the different shrines and temples in nishiki market. Kyoto is a fascinating city where the very old and the very new meet I am in Tokyo now and I miss it very much. This tour was a charming and interesting introduction to Kyoto.

October 2019

Reviewed by Mohamed Hassan A , hosted by Taibi

Can’t find the right experience for you?

Just because it’s not here doesn’t mean we can’t offer it.
Get in touch and the City Unscripted team and hosts will help create the right experience for you.

Subscribe now and thank us later

Get travel tips from our hosts across the
world plus exclusive offers and discounts

Any questions?

If you’re unsure about anything you can
reach us on any of these channels.

Back to top