Discover authentic and soul-stirring experiences in Kyoto
A special visit to the ancient Kiyomizudera and Ninnaji temples. Try tea ceremony and Noh play activities, and tour Japanese gardens.
●The tea ceremony head will perform a special tea ceremony in the Shobikan Hall of the Heian Shrine, which is normally closed to the public.
●Rent out their historic Noh theater and experience the wonders of Noh, the oldest performing art in the world.
●Visit the Kiyomizudera and Ninnaji temples, the pride of Kyoto. We will also guide you to places that can only be visited by guests.
Day 1: A variety of activities that can only be experienced in Kyoto
Ippodo Saho, established in 1717, is one of Japan’s leading tea shops. They sell tea to the public, and also work with tea ceremony schools. They handle a wide range of products from processed tea to tea utensils. Participants will join in a Japanese tea workshop, where you will learn how to brew and select tea leaves. There will also have a tasting of eight different brands of Japanese tea to give participants a taste of the charm of Japanese tea.
Lunch will be served at Shinmonzen Yonemura, a restaurant in Gion, Kyoto, where the talented chef, Masayasu Yonemura, who was awarded two stars by the Michelin Guide in 2020, creates creative French cuisine. The establishment also uses pieces from contemporary artists, antiques, and European art for tableware, giving you more than just a delicious meal.
【Kiyomizudera Temple、Ninnaji Temple・Shorinin】
After eating, you will head to the Kiyomizudera Temple, known for its theater, is built into the slope of the mountain there. It is a famous tourist spot that was created 1200 years ago. This tour will take you to see a new side of Kiyomizudera Temple, by taking you to places usually closed to the public. This special visit offers the chance for precious experiences, including tours of Tahokaku (Tower of treasures) of the Daikodo, has a wing on either side, and the walls of the base of the tower hold a Buddha’s footprint thirteen feet long. The walls surrounding this footprint have 4,076 images of the four major Buddhas. The prestigious Jojuin temple which was originally a private temple for the emperor is noted for its exquisite garden usually attributed to one of Japan’s most noted landscape gardeners, Kobori Enshu.
Leaving the famous temple behind, your next destination will be Shorinan, your lodging for the night. This lodging stands in the holy grounds of the shrine of Ninnaji Temple, the head temple of the Grand head temple of the Shingon sect, Omuro-ha, and is limited to one group per day. On the day of your stay, the grounds of Ninnaji Temple will be reserved for you until the next morning, and you will be able to visit the statue of Amitabha in the Golden Hall, see the Five-Storied Pagoda and temple dedicated to Kannon, normally closed to the public, and visit the mysterious grounds at night. These programs can only be experienced here.
Day 2: Experience the beauty of Japanese form and see new sides to the ancient capital
【Ninnaji Temple Golden Hall, Kongo Noh theater, Tempura Endo Okazakitei】
The second day will start with a prayer service at the Golden Hall of the Ninnaji Temple. Join the monks and pray to welcome the morning with a pure heart.
After checking out of your lodgings, you will be taken by courtesy car to the Kongo Noh theater. Here, you will hear a lecture on the world of Noh theater from a Noh performer who passes down registered Important Intangible Cultural Property. You will walk around the Noh stage and try the basic movements of dance and chant. You will actually watch a Noh performance to enhance your understanding the appeal of this classical Japanese performing art that has been handed down from generation to generation for about 650 years.
Before moving on to the afternoon portion of the tour, you will head to Tempura Endo Okazakitei for lunch. They serve tempura made with the finest ingredients, including fresh seafood from the Seto Inland Sea and Kyoto vegetables bursting with seasonal flavor, to great success with tourists from the world over.
Special cultural experience: Experience tea ceremonies with the head of the Oribe tea school
【Heian Shrine Special】
The Shobikan Hall, a noble guest house at the Heian Shrine, has an impressive overhanging structure which appears as if it is floating on a pond. The exterior of the building is finely decorated, and the interior is lavishly furnished. The sliding door has paintings of cranes and pine, bamboo, and plum trees by Mochizuki Gyokei, a master Japanese painter, and are so beautiful and powerful that they will take your breath away.
There will be a demonstration of the Futatsuagashira (two hosts) tea serving style which is based on the tea rules (“Sarei”) of Zen temples. Today’s tea ceremony comes from the Sarei rules. This special tea ceremony activity by the grand master of the Oribe tea school will be held in an elegant space usually closed to the public. Following this, exclusive tea serving techniques ( called “Kinindate”) by the grand master will be demonstrated, which is performed for noblemen and royalty. Experience the Japanese aesthetics with the highest level of service, make unforgettable connections, and come together with others through your host’s hospitality.
【Special garden tour】
The tour ends with a visit to a beautiful Japanese garden guided by prestigious garden designer, Chisao Shigemori. He is the grandson of the late Mirei Shigemori, who was one of the most famous gardeners of the Showa era. The tour will begin with Tofukuji Temple’s unique Garden of the Eight Phases, which uses columns to represent the stars of the Big Dipper. This is then followed by the Hofutsu Stone Garden and the Kokohsan Garden at Ikkain Temple, which is usually closed to the public. You will be able to see a demonstration of sand patterning, where fasinating patterns are drawn on the sand of the garden. Afterwards, you will visit Komyoin temple which has a modern Karesansui (dry landscape) garden, which is called “Hashintei”. Laid out by Mirei Shigemori, this landscape garden consists of rocks, water, moss, pruned trees, shrubs, and white sand to achieve its design. You will immerse yourself in this peaceful and tranquil space while experiencing Japanese aesthetic sensibilities.
Starts at JPY 3,789,400 for a party of two
●Deadline for reservations:
One month before your tour (based on demand, no guarantee)
A maximum of four per year
●Minimum number of participants:
Kyoto Station/Kyoto Station
・Please note that the programs provided by the individuals mentioned in the itinerary may be canceled or changed due to unavoidable circumstances including health concerns, weather conditions and any event of Force Majeure. Thank you for your understanding.
・ Participation is limited to those aged six or above (school aged children).
・ See here for our usage agreement for your application.
Please inquire for reservations for the individual lodgings or restaurants mentioned on this page.
【About this tour】
This tour has been planned as part of our efforts to help achieve the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) adopted by the United Nations in 2015. A portion of tour fees paid by all participants will be used to maintain and pass on the tangible and intangible cultural assets of Kansai, the origin of Japanese culture, to the next generation. This aims to create a positive cycle of cultural tourism; we look forward to your participation.
【Sponsored Travel Agent】
AIR WORLD CO.,LTD.
Licensed by Ministry Transport Tourism Agency No.961