Explore some of the most celebrated shrines and temples in the historic city of Kyoto. A knowledgeable guide leads your afternoon tour to several of Kyoto’s hallowed locations, and along age-old streets for a unique shopping opportunity.
Once you are picked up at the designated location, you head toward Heian Shrine—built in 1895 to commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto, Japan’s capital at the time. You imagine the graceful old court life that took place in this brightly colored shrine as you walk around its vermilion pillars, green roof, and enchanting inner gardens and ponds.
Your next stop is a spectacular homage to the bodhisattva Kannon, commonly known as the Goddess of Mercy. Housed within Japan’s longest wooden structure, you find an impressive arrangement of 1,001 statues of this important figure, some dating back to the 13th century. Learn about Buddhist religious rituals as Japanese monks observe long-standing practices during their daily routine.
Walk along the charming old lane that leads to the temple of Kiyomizu-dera—otherwise called the Pure Water Temple. Founded in 780 AD, it is nestled in the wooded hills of eastern Kyoto and is one of the most celebrated temples in Japan. Gaze out over its lofty terrace for a sweeping view of the city in the distance.
As evening sets in, ponder the day along the ride back to your hotel.