Kyoto and Beyond by Foot
All content by World Expeditions
A series of stunning day walks around Kyoto
Although it hasn’t been the political capital of Japan for a few hundred years, Kyoto is definitely the capital of all things traditional in the Land of the Rising Run. Get ready for a stunning 6 days hiking trip around Kyoto, including fascinating day walks taking in the incredible beauty and hidden wonders of the surrounding region amid ancient shrines, atmospheric mountainside temples, stone pathways, woodland forests, bamboo groves and pilgrim trails. This memorable trip will give you a chance to peek into the thousand years old traditions of Japan and includes pleasant walks and hikes in the surrounding hills of Kyoto.
- Explore Kyoto's temples and gardens
- Daimonji hike
- Experience Mt Hiei
- Arashiyama walk and Tenryuji temple
Day 1 Hike from Fushimi Inari shrine to Tofukuji temple
We will meet the group at hotel, as our starting point, in the morning. After the group briefing, we will take the bus to Kyoto station to catch the train to Fushimi Inari Shrine. We will leave all unnecessary things at the hotel. Starting from the Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for thousands of Shinto “tori” gates lined up along the hill, we will walk to Tofukuji temple and visit the lovely moss garden. (approx. 3 hour walk)
Day 2 Daimonji and Nanzanji day walks
Today we will take the local bus to Daimonji located very close to the Silver Pavillion temple. Within half an hour, we will reach the top at 466m height, which is high enough to see the whole Kyoto city below with Osaka city and Awajishima futher ahead. After coming down, we will go for a relaxing walk along the Philosopher’s path and to Nanzanji temple, which is famous for its rock garden. (approx. 1.5 hour hike and 1hour walk)
Day 3 Pilgrim route to Mt Hiei and Enryakuji temple
Today we will take local transport to Shugakuin to climb Mt Hiei - the center of the Buddhist Tendai sect, home of “one thousand day go around the peaks” ascetic training. In the hills east of Kyoto, we will ignore the cable car going up and take the pilgrim route and do the loop. The trails are filled with flowers and wildlife such as monkeys and tanuki (raccoon dog). We will head down after visiting Enryakuji temple. (approx. 4 hour hike)
Day 4 Bamboo forest walk in Arashiyama, walk along Hozu river
Today we will visit Arashiyama, one of the scenic spots for walking in Kyoto, and walk through the bamboo forest. First we will walk along Hozu river and learn about the traditions around this area. Hozu river is famous for the pleasant boat ride from Kameoka through the gorge with beautiful colours in all seasons. After that we will walk through the bamboo forest next to Tenryuji temple, one of the 17 World Heritage sites in Kyoto. We will stop by some local shrine and craft shops on our way. (approx. 4 hour walk)
Day 5 Visit Kurama temple, hike to Yuki Jinja shrine
This morning we will take a local train to Kurama, a town in the Northern mountains of Kyoto. We will first visit Kurama temple famous for the view from its main building that stands on a terrace on the mountain’s slope looking over the valley. We then ascent to Yuki jinja, a shrine famous for its Fire Festival held annually in October. (approx. 3 hour hike)
Day 6 In Kyoto, trip concludes
Today is departure day, therefore there are no activities and today is at leisure, to depart at your convenience.
- 4 breakfasts and 5 lunches
- Traditional 'ryokan' inns on a twin share basis
- Transportation as listed in itinerary
- Expert bilingual guide
- Medical kit
- 6 day trip
- 5 nights traditional inn
Trip Main Activities
- Adventure touring
Group Size Min
Group Size Max
Charming ryokans (traditional Japanese style inns) with Japanese style rooms, with shared facilities.
No specialist gear is required except for a comfortable pair of walking shoes and a day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).
What You Carry
In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-eze etc.