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7-Day Kyoto and Nara Cultural and Culinary Adventure

7-Day Kyoto and Nara Cultural and Culinary Adventure Itinerary

Published: 2024 Feb 28

Discovering Kyoto's UNESCO Sites and Tea Ceremonies

Morning
Begin your day with a traditional Japanese breakfast at Nishiki Market, a bustling food market with a wide variety of local delicacies. After breakfast, embark on the Kyoto Full-Day Best UNESCO and Historical Sites Bus Tour, which will take you to iconic landmarks such as the Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) , the Kiyomizu-dera Temple , and the Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fushimi Inari Taisha) . Enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant near the Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
Afternoon
In the afternoon, experience the tranquility of a traditional tea ceremony at the Kyoto Tea Ceremony Ju-An at Jotokuji Temple. Afterward, visit the Gion District and explore its hidden gems on the Kyoto Gion District Hidden Gems Walking Tour. End your afternoon with a delightful matcha tea ceremony at a local teahouse.
Evening
For dinner, savor the flavors of Kyoto at Kyoto Gion Kiyomizu, a restaurant known for its kaiseki cuisine. After dinner, take a leisurely stroll through the Gion District and immerse yourself in the traditional atmosphere. If time allows, join the Kyoto Gion Night Walking Tour to learn about the district's history and spot geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha) in the evening.
Bedtime
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Culinary Delights and Cultural Immersion

Morning
Start your day with a visit to the Nishiki Market, also known as "Kyoto's Kitchen," where you can sample a variety of local street foods and pick up some unique souvenirs. After exploring the market, participate in the Kyoto 45-Minute Tea Ceremony Experience at a traditional tea house.
Afternoon
Enjoy a hands-on experience by learning to make ramen from scratch at the Kyoto Learn to Make Ramen from Scratch with Souvenir. After mastering the art of ramen-making, take a guided tour of the Gion District and visit the Yasaka Shrine (Gion Shrine) and the Kodai-ji Temple. For lunch, indulge in a bowl of ramen at Ichiraku Ramen, a popular local ramen shop.
Evening
In the evening, join the Kyoto All-Inclusive 3-Hour Food and Culture Tour in Gion to discover the culinary traditions of Kyoto. Sample a variety of local dishes and learn about the city's food culture from an expert guide. After the tour, enjoy a relaxing dinner at a traditional izakaya (Japanese pub) in the Gion District.
Bedtime
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Samurai, Sake, and Scenic Beauty

Morning
Start your day with a visit to the Kyoto Samurai Class, Become a Samurai Warrior, where you can learn about the way of the samurai and participate in a traditional sword-fighting lesson. After channeling your inner warrior, head to the Arashiyama Park and the Tenryu-ji Temple to enjoy the natural beauty of Kyoto's western district. For breakfast, try the famous yudofu (tofu hot pot) at Yoshikawa Inn Restaurant.
Afternoon
After lunch, take a scenic boat ride on the Hozugawa River and admire the picturesque landscapes of the Arashiyama area. Then, visit the Katsura Imperial Villa (Katsura Rikyu), a stunning example of traditional Japanese architecture and garden design. For a mid-afternoon snack, stop by a local tea house for some matcha and wagashi (Japanese sweets).
Evening
In the evening, join the Kyoto Insider Sake Brewery Tour with Sake and Food Pairing to learn about the art of sake production and sample a variety of local brews. After the tour, enjoy a sake-pairing dinner at a nearby restaurant. If time allows, take a leisurely walk along the Pontocho Alley and soak in the nightlife of Kyoto.
Bedtime
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Exploring Kyoto's Imperial History and Nightlife

Morning
Begin your day with a visit to the Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho), the former residence of the Imperial family. Join a guided tour of the palace grounds and learn about its rich history. After the tour, take a short walk to the Sento Palace and the Heian Shrine. For breakfast, enjoy a traditional Japanese set meal at a local restaurant.
Afternoon
In the afternoon, visit the Nijo-jo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens. After exploring the castle, take a stroll through the nearby Nishijin Textile Center and learn about Kyoto's traditional textile industry. For lunch, try the famous katsu (breaded and deep-fried cutlet) at Katsukura Kyoto Station.
Evening
For dinner, experience the vibrant nightlife of Kyoto by dining at a traditional izakaya in the Pontocho Alley. After dinner, join the Night Walk in Gion Kyoto's Geisha District to learn about the history and culture of the Gion District. If you're lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a geisha or maiko on their way to an evening appointment.
Bedtime
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Day Trip to Nara: Temples, Deer, and Traditional Crafts

Morning
Take a day trip to the nearby city of Nara, known for its ancient temples and friendly deer. Begin your day at the Todai-ji Temple, home to the Great Buddha statue. Explore the temple grounds and visit the nearby Nara Park, where you can interact with the local deer. For breakfast, try some local specialties at a restaurant near the temple.
Afternoon
After lunch, visit the Kasuga Taisha Shrine and the Nara National Museum to learn about the history and culture of Nara. Then, take a stroll through the traditional streets of Naramachi and visit some of the local craft shops. For a mid-afternoon snack, try some freshly made mochi (rice cake) at a local confectionery.
Evening
Return to Kyoto in the evening and enjoy a relaxing dinner at a local restaurant. If you're interested in traditional crafts, consider joining a workshop to make your own souvenir, such as pottery, textiles, or traditional Japanese sweets.
Bedtime
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Zen Gardens, Geisha Culture, and Sake Tasting

Morning
Start your day with a visit to the Ginkaku-ji Temple (Silver Pavilion), known for its beautiful zen garden and stunning architecture. Then, take a walk along the Philosopher's Path and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the Higashiyama District. For breakfast, try some traditional Japanese sweets at a local teahouse.
Afternoon
In the afternoon, visit the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts to learn about the history and techniques of Kyoto's traditional crafts. Then, take a guided tour of the Gion District and learn about the history and culture of geisha and maiko. For lunch, enjoy a bento box at a local restaurant.
Evening
Join the Kyoto Zen Matcha Tea Ceremony with Free Refills to experience the tranquility of a zen garden and enjoy unlimited matcha and wagashi. After the tea ceremony, visit a local sake bar and sample a variety of sake from different regions of Japan. For dinner, enjoy a multi-course kaiseki meal at a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn).
Bedtime
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Culinary Adventure and Farewell to Kyoto

Morning
On your final day in Kyoto, participate in the Kyoto Afternoon Japanese Izakaya Cooking Class to learn about the art of Japanese home cooking. Prepare a variety of dishes under the guidance of a local chef and enjoy the fruits of your labor for lunch. After the cooking class, visit the Nijo-jo Castle and take a guided tour of the castle's beautiful gardens.
Afternoon
Spend your afternoon exploring the traditional streets of Kyoto and visiting some of the local craft shops. Consider picking up some unique souvenirs to remember your trip by. For a mid-afternoon snack, try some traditional Japanese sweets at a local confectionery.
Evening
For your final evening in Kyoto, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant and reflect on your cultural and culinary adventures in the city. If time allows, take a leisurely walk along the Kamogawa River and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. As you bid farewell to Kyoto, take with you the memories of the city's rich history, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine.
Bedtime
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