"I was expecting to do one or two things per day, but wow... this was incredible.  We had a full plate of amazing experiences every day."

- Wani Wynne, San Mateo, CA


"This was the most wonderful trip of my life.  I experienced the essence of Japan through its narrow, quaint streets, gardens, architecture, and of course through its people.  On a scale of 1 to 10, this tour is an eleven!"

- P. Houck  Cleveland, Ohio


"Every day on this trip was packed with 5 or 6 fun activities.  On our last Japan tour (with the Smithsonian) we only did one or two things per day."

- Marilyn and John Dienes, Los Alamos, New Mexico


"We had such a wonderful time on your Kyoto Walking Tour.  It was a magical two weeks.  I can't believe how many interesting things we did and how many fascinating people we met.  Thanks."

- John and Mary McIntire, York, England

  Sukiya Living Tours

Sample Itinerary

Below is a sample itinerary for a 13-day Kyoto Walking Tour.  This is an abbreviated general itinerary.  It does not include minor tour events and the many charming occurrences that happen every day.  The final itinerary for each tour is not determined until shortly before the tour starts.  This allows for the inclusion of special exhibitions, visits, and events.  Our visits to private homes and gardens are dependent on the schedules of our Japanese friends.  As such, the final itinerary may vary from the sample posted here.


DAY 1   TRAVEL DAY   (Sat/Sun)

travel - on airplane or train to the Kansai International Airport

the date switches from Saturday to Sunday at the Intl. Date Line

lodging - in a convenient hotel located at (or near) the airport

relax - at your hotel, even though you're so excited to get going!



travel - by chartered coach to Fushimi

garden visit - to Sambo-in, a famous Momoyama period garden

lunch - in Fushimi at the Ume-no-Hana Restaurant

cultural - visit to a sake brewery in Fushimi

cultural - visit to a model home village in Kyoto

check-in - to the Kyoto Hotel that will serve as our home base

experience - a neighborhood walk and dinner in the vicinity of our hotel


DAY 3   SHISENDO   (Tuesday)

experience - a neighborhood walk in northeastern Kyoto

garden visits - to Enkoh-ji and Kompuku-ji

extended home & garden visit - at Shisendo

cultural - visit to to the home of a calligraphy master

lunch - at the Heihachi Chaya Inn

cultural - visit to a tatami mat company

experience - a visit to a local home and garden center


DAY 4   PHILOSOPHER'S WALK   (Wednesday)

early morning garden visit - to Ginkaku-ji, the "Silver Pavilion"

garden visit - to Honen-in's beautiful gate

experience - Philosopher's Walk

green tea - and architectural talk at the Yoji-ya Cafe

private home & garden visit - to Mrs. Andoh's house.

lunch  - at Junsei, a Nanzen-ji area garden resturant

visit - the family home and spectacular warehouse of a bamboo merchant.


DAY 5   NIJO CASTLE   (Thursday)

garden visit - to Nijo Castle and Ninomaru Palace

garden visit - to Seiryu-en, a semi-private garden near Nijo

lunch - at the Kokusai Hotel's garden restaurant

cultural - visit to Kyoto's textile district

free afternoon - to relax, go shopping, or visit an indigo dye workshop

experience - an evening stroll through Kyoto's downtown area

dinner - downtown in a "family style" Japanese pub


DAY 6   WESTERN KYOTO   (Friday)

experience - a beautiful stroll beside the river in Arashiyama

experience - a visit to Arashiyama's famous bamboo forest

garden visit - to Tenryu-ji, on of Japan's oldest gardens

shopping - at Sagano village shops

"romantic" train ride - through the torokko gorge

lunch  - at the Raku-raku-soh beer garden in Kameoka

exclusive visit - to a professional tree nursery and stone yard


DAY 7   NARA DAY TRIP   (Saturday)

travel - by train to Nara

garden visits - to Yoshiki-en and Isui-en

walk - through Nara's deer park

learn about - Edo period townhouses

lunch - at Harishin restaurant

cultural  - visit to the home and studio of a sumi ink craftsman

shopping - in Nara's shopping district


DAY 8   FREE DAY   (Sunday)

relax - or visit the cultural attractions of your choice.


DAY 9   OHARA DAY TRIP   (Monday)

travel - by bus on spectacular mountain roads up into the countryside

experience - a mountainside walk through the village of Ohara

relax - and enjoy drinks at the foot spa in Ohara

cultural - visit to an O-hara koi breeder's farm

lunch - at the Tamba Chaya neighborhood restaurant

private home & garden visit - to Mrs. Shimizu's rice farm

garden visit - at Renge-ji


DAY 10   MARUTAMACHI   (Tuesday)

garden visit - to the ALTI concert hall garden

cultural - visit and lecture at a traditional incense shop

garden visit - to the Heian Kaikan garden

learn - and talk with a master garden builder

"basket" lunch - at the Hobune Restaurant

private home & garden visit - to Shusui-tei Villa

cultural - ikebana demonstration at Shusui-tei


DAY 11   MURIN-AN   (Wednesday)

garden visit - to the Shirakawa-in teacher's retreat

garden visit - to Murin-an

cultural - hands-on kimono lesson at Kokoka

cultural - tea ceremony lesson at "En"

experience - a stroll through the stunning Ishibe-koji neighborhood

lunch - at the Okutan Restaurant in Kiyomizu

desert - at the Raku-sho "koi cafe"

shopping - in the Kiyomizu area


DAY 12   KATSURA / FREE DAY   (Thursday)

special independent visits - to the Katsura Imperial Villa

free afternoon - relax, go shopping, or visit the cultural sites of your choice

evening farewell dinner - at the Ganko Nijo-en Restaurant downtown


DAY 13   CHECK-OUT / AIRPORT   (Friday)

travel - Sukiya Living Tours arranges transport to KIX airport

logistics - Sukiya Living Tours helps tour guests plan further side trips


Sukiya Living Tours is a Division of SUKIYA LIVING MAGAZINE (JOJG), P.O. Box 1050, Rockport, ME  (USA)  04856   (tel/fax) 207-273-2907