This half-day tour will take you through the tree-lined pathways in the Kyoto Imperial Palace Gardens, then head to the templed Higashiyama area, the origin of Japan’s ‘Wabi-Sabi’ culture. After visiting Ginkakuji, the Silver Pavilion, you can enjoy shopping for local items and souvenirs on the nearby street. Then it’s on to the Philosopher’s Path and Kyoto’s most prominent Zen temple, Nanzenji.
Kyoto Silver Tour
Feel the wabi-sabi spirit of Kyoto
The main areas of Kyoto to explore on this cycling tour
KCTP South of Gosho Cycle Terminal
Meeting and departure point, located close to Kyoto Imperial Palace.
Kyoto Gyoen National Garden
Cycle through the leafy Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, home to the Imperial Palace and several other historic sites. This sprawling green space is loved by locals, who visit to enjoy the changing seasons. See cherry blossoms in spring, yellow ginkgo tree leaves in fall, and a range of flora throughout the year.
Ginkakuji (Silver Temple) is the temple that best represents Kyoto and the wabi-sabi spirit that permeates Japanese culture. This Zen temple complex dates from 1482, when it was originally built as a villa. As well as the pavilion itself, highlights include the beautiful moss garden, raked sand garden, and Togudo Hall.
Pedal slowly along this 2km path, which runs along a pretty tree-lined canal. With cherry blossom in spring, colorful leaves in autumn, dustings of snow in winter, and the rich greens of summer, it's photogenic year-round.
Japan's most important Zen Buddhist temple, Nanzenji dates from the 13th century. Its huge Sanmon Gate has a deck that allows great views of the city. Other highlights include the beautifully maintained kare-sansui (dry landscape) garden, and the Meiji-era arched brick aqueduct that crosses the temple grounds – a popular photo spot.
Known for its bright vermilion gate and colorful buildings, Heian Shrine (Heian-jingu) was founded in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the Heian period. It was modeled on the Heian Palace, the original imperial residence in the days when Kyoto was Japan's capital.
KCTP South of Gosho Cycle Terminal
Return to South of Gosho cycle terminal, where the tour ends.
- Tour type
- Private guided tour
- Departure/End location
- KCTP South of Gosho Cycle Terminal (RAKURO KYOTO THE SHARE HOTELS)
＊Tours meet in the lobby of the hotel.
- Departure/End time
- Morning tour 9:30~13:00
Afternoon tour 13:30~17:00
- Time required
- 3.5 hours
*Please note that traffic conditions and/or weather conditions may cause the cycling tour to finish later.
- About 13 km
- Price per person
- 9,000 yen (for groups of 4 people or more)
10,200 yen (3 people)
12,800 yen (2 people)
20,000 yen (1 person) Solo visitors welcome!
- Inclusive of
- Guide fee, rental bike fee, liability and accident insurance, admission fee, helmets, rain gear, original cycling map
- Recommended for
- People interested in cultural heritage, temples and shrines, Zen Buddhism
- ・Please wear comfortable clothes and footwear, according to the weather and temperature of the day. We recommend wearing sunglasses and using sunscreen in summer, and wearing gloves in the winter.
・Luggage such as suitcases can be stored free of charge. However, valuables, fragile items, and food cannot be stored.
・For an additional charge of 500 yen per bicycle, bike rental before or after the tour is available during business hours (from 9:00 to 18:00).