Lonely Planet Experiences Private Kyoto Lanes & Lanterns Tour

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  • No booking fees
See Itinerary
  • duration 3.5 hours
  • tour type Group
  • minimum participants 2
  • age requirement 20+ yrs
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
map
  • Starts Kyoto, Japan
  • Ends Kyoto, Japan
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Explore Kyoto with your own private guide and watch the city transition from a daytime haven of shrines and temples to a magical nighttime town
  • Wander the back streets of Gion and see if you can spot a few Geiko walking through the old quarter
  • Visit local spots rarely discovered by tourists such as the Nishiki Tenmangu street shrines
  • Jump through history, from the wooden walls and lanterns of Yasaka Shrine to the bustle of Karasuma’s tachinomiya
The Lonely Planet Experiences Private Kyoto Lanes & Lanterns Tour tour starts and ends in Kyoto. The Lonely Planet Experiences Private Kyoto Lanes & Lanterns Tour is a walking tour that takes 3.5 hours.

The true magic of Kyoto comes alive at the end of the day, when past and present blend into the night! Take to the streets on a private tour as dusk falls and see how argon lights mix with paper lanterns, age-old shrines squeeze into busy shopping streets, and aged wood is decorated with modern street art. 
This tour is priced for a minimum group size of two travellers. A solo traveller may still book this private experience but will be charged the base rate for two travellers. 



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  • Mr. Kent
  • On Mar 13 2016
“I had an awesome time hanging out with our tour guide, Brian. Brian was a great guide - he was very knowledgable and enthusiastic. I highly recommend attending this tour as the 'speakeasy' bars that we went to were very cool and nostalgic!”
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  • Mrs. Semya
  • On Mar 08 2016
“Secret Paris Tour is a tour for those who like to see behind the scenes and discover Paris with a local. It is not so much about dates and famous figures, but about the beauty, spirit and charm of Paris and its people. Our tour in Paris has been fun and a great source of inspiration for discoveries of our own. absolument ne pas manquer :)”
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  • Ms. Stephanie
  • On Nov 27 2015
“This tour far exceeded my expectations. I really appreciate Kham's patience and enthusiasm as she taught me to cook Lao food. I also loved the opportunity to spend time with her and her family in their home.”
ITINERARY

Experiencing Kyoto by night is an essential part of any visit to Japan’s city of tradition. Walking through the old town’s lantern-lit wooden streets is an otherworldly experience not to be missed!

We’ll begin our private Kyoto tour at Minamiza Theatre in Kyoto’s famed Geisha district of Gion. As we wander, there’s a good chance you’ll see both Geiko and Maiko breezing through the narrow alleyways of the old quarter.

From there, your private guide will help you avoid the crowds and traverse the serene wooden backstreets through to Yasaka Shrine, where there’s an explosion of light and noise! Famous Yasaka is eternally alive, brought to life by bright lights and buzzing crowds, and lined with street food stalls selling Japan’s favourite evening snacks — everything from frozen bananas to skewered squid.

We’ll then avoid the crowds a second time as we dart into the backstreets of northern Gion, walking through the narrow streets lined with smaller and more modern clubs and bars — a fascinating contrast to the quarter’s old buildings and historical air.

Crossing the Kamo River, we’ll take in the sprawling view of Kyoto’s restaurant district as it stretches into the distance along the river, before crossing into Pontocho. A centuries-old entertainment district now lined with bars and restaurants, Pontocho is lit almost entirely by traditional Japanese lanterns of every shape and size. Each restaurant has its own unique menu and atmosphere, but all retain an old-world charm.

From Pontocho, we’ll cross to Teramachi, a traditional Japanese-style arcade strip that stretches off into the distance. Roofed with glowing, cathedral-like arches, Teramachi is home to a countless variety of merchants and restaurants, including traditional Japanese bookstores and the ubiquitous, brightly lit Manga comic shops. Here, you can find everything from statues of ancient gods at a Butsudan-ya (Buddhist altar shop) to high-quality sushi knives and vintage clothing.

Leaving Teramachi’s arcade, we’ll head past the Nishiki food market to check out a tachinomiya — translated in English, ‘tachinomiya’  literally means ‘stand and drink shop.’ Bars with no seats offer locals a chance to enjoy drinks and light snacks en route to home or engagements elsewhere.

(If you’d prefer to travel as part of a regular group experience, please book our Lanes & Lanterns group tour.)

This tour is priced for a minimum group size of two travellers. A solo traveller may still book this private experience but will be charged the base rate for two travellers. 

For additional directions to meeting point:

- By city bus to "Shijo Kawaramachi"- By Hankyu Railway: Kawaramachi Station exit 1 (10-minute walk) - By Keihan Railway: Gion -shijō Station exit 6, (5-minute walk)- From JR Kyoto Station: by city bus in approximately 25 minutes, or approximately 15 minutes by taxi

Download a map here: http://www.kyoto-gioncorner.com/global/en.html

WHAT'S INCLUDED
Guide
  • Local English-speaking guide
Others
  • Food samples.&Nbsp;
WHAT'S EXCLUDED
  • Additional food and drink
  • souvenirs and items of a personal nature
  • transportation to and from the meeting point
  • tips/gratuities for your guide. 
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GOOD TO KNOW Download trip notes
CANCELLATION

Cancellation for this Lonely Planet Experiences Private Kyoto Lanes & Lanterns Tour tour is free up to 48 hours before the chosen start date - full refund will be given. If cancellation is made less than 48 hours before the chosen start date, no refund applies.

Payment

Full payment of 191 USD is required to confirm this tour.

Travel Insurance

Lonely Planet Experiences Private Kyoto Lanes & Lanterns Tour tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Lonely Planet Experiences Private Kyoto Lanes & Lanterns Tour tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Meeting start point :

Entrance to Gion's Corner, by Hanamikoji Dori, 570-2 Gionmachi Minamigawa area, Higashiyama-ku ward, Kyoto. Directions: Four blocks south from intersection of Shijo and Hanamikoji streets. Hnamikoji is two blocks east of Shijo-Ohashi Bridge. View map.

Meeting end point :

Shijo - Karasuma station.

Lonely Planet extras
  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop
COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • This tour follows established guidelines that are in line with the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ framework against COVID-19.
  • This tour follows the local government(s) recommendations for gatherings and group sizes.
  • Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing is highly encouraged on this tour. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected.
NEED HELP OR HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THIS TOUR?
If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.
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