Scholar-Led Shintoism & Buddhism Walking Tour

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Duration: 3h
Location: Yasaka Shrine, 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan | Kyoto, Japan

Category: Tours & Sightseeing

Full immersion into the vital religions of Japanese culture
Chance to learn daily Shinto rituals at the Yasaka Shrine
Panoramic views of Kyoto from the stunning Kiyomizu-dera
Contemplation of the lives of Buddhist monks at Kennin-ji
Maximum group size of 6 people for an intimate experience

Guided walking tour of Kyoto
Live tour commentary provided in English


It has been said that, when it comes to religion, many Japanese are “born Shinto, die Buddhist.” Learn the history behind this phrase as you delve into the interconnectedness of Japanese religions. Explore the history and customs of both Shintoism and Buddhism on this half-day tour of Kyoto.

Begin your spiritual tour of Kyoto at the Yasaka Shrine, located in the historic Gion district. Hear about the principles of Shintoism as you're introduced to the kami, a sacred spirit in the form of nature, animals, or the revered deceased. Learn about daily rituals like temizu, a customary hand washing before entering a shrine, which originated from tribal beliefs as well as folklore from the time of the Meiji rule.

Continue to Kiyomizu-dera, a UNESCO-listed jingu-ji—shrine temple—featuring the Otowa Waterfall. The temple sits atop Kyoto's hills and offers fascinating views of the city. Relish the serenity at this location, as you're presented with the values of Buddhism, learning of its significance in Japan.

Your final stop is at Kennin-ji, 1 of the 5 most vital Zen temples of Kyoto. As you follow your guide through the site, analyze its structure and contemplate the life of a Buddhist monk—all the while discussing Zen Buddhist ethics and the practice of meditation.

Cancellation Policy: 5 days
Know before you book: At least 2 people are required for this activity to take place., Maximum group size is 6 people., You must be able to walk on unpaved or uneven terrain., This activity is not wheelchair accessible., Check-in is 15 minutes prior to the booked tour start time.

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