Choose one of the pick-up location closest to you and get ready at the appointed time, confirmed upon booking. The guide shall pick you up and you will head to the first stop - the Kyoto Imperial Palace. With great historical significance, this palace was the residence of the imperial family for over 1000 years and had also burned down several times, until its final rebuilding in 1855. Stroll the gardens and the grounds as you take in the traditional architecture and heritage. While closed on Mondays, this is part of the tour on the other days.
After 40 minutes, head on to the Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion. It got this name since the top two floors of the Zen temple are covered in gold leaf. A majestic structure, overlooking a pond, this structure echoes the Kitayama culture (the culture of the wealthy aristocratic circles). Each floor represents a unique architectural style. Once you have explored the temple to your heart's content, you shall move on to the next iconic landmark - Kiyomizudera Temple.
Famous for its large wooden terrace, it is on the site of the Otowa Waterfall. People flock from all over the world for the view from this temple's stage. During spring and fall, the cherry blossoms and maple trees erupt in blooming colors. This temple also has many other tales attached to it. The waterfall, divided into three streams, is offered to the public to drink. Each stream brings to you something different - a long life, success, and love. Although, drinking from all three streams is considered greedy.
After an hour and ten minutes, your guide shall take you to the next stop on your tour - the Nijo Castle. One of the best examples of Japanese architecture, Nijo Castle was made a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994. The castle itself is divided into three areas while the grounds are surrounded by stone walls and moats. Take your time to traverse the property before heading to Sanjusangendo Temple after 50 minutes.
Spend half an hour at this temple, renown for its 1001 statues of the Goddess of Mercy, Kannon. The temple hall is also Japan's longest wooden structure. A fascinating place, the sight of life-like statues surrounding you is unlike any other.
Finally, visit the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, housing thousands of torii gates. One of the most important shrines dedicated to the Shinto God of rice, this shrine is cocooned by lush mountain trails. There is also a torii-gate covered hiking trail that takes about 2-3 hours to complete, although you are free to walk as much as you wish before turning back.
At the end of your tour, the driver shall drop you back to the original departure point at approximately 6:00 PM.