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Cultural Experiences in Kyoto! 12 Popular Activities such as Kimono Strolling and Rickshaw Rides

Experience Unique Japanese Culture in Kyoto

Firstly, let me introduce spots where you can experience unique Japanese culture, particularly in Kyoto. Even if you’re Japanese, there are likely cultural aspects you haven’t explored yet! Take the opportunity of your visit to Kyoto to try something new.

Kimono Strolling Experience

Experience strolling through the historical streets of Kyoto in traditional Japanese attire, the kimono! This popular activity allows you not only to rent kimonos but also all the accessories necessary for traditional Japanese clothing, such as straw sandals, tabi socks, and a Japanese-style bag. With hundreds of kimonos to choose from, you’ll surely find one that suits your taste. Available for men, women, and children. Enjoy a carefree experience without the need to prepare anything on your own.

Maiko & Samurai Experience

Fulfill your dreams of becoming a maiko or experiencing the life of a samurai, two iconic elements that shape the image of Kyoto. In the Maiko Experience, you undergo authentic makeup and dressing, followed by commemorative photos and the freedom to explore the area. The Samurai Experience involves wearing a kimono, holding a samurai sword, and capturing the moment through photography. For those who love taking pictures, there’s a recommended plan with a reserved time for self-photography.

  • Location: Maiko Experience Studio Shiki
  • Price: Adults from 8,000 yen
  • Access: 18 minutes on foot from Gion-Shijo Station, 208-7 Kiyomizu 2-chome, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0862
  • Google Maps: Link

Oiran (Courtesan) Experience

Experience the elaborate dressing of an oiran, who held a high position in the Yoshiwara red-light district. This role-playing experience is available at the Toei Uzumasa Film Village’s costume photo studio. The charm of the Oiran Experience at Toei Uzumasa Film Village lies in the opportunity to take photos in a faithfully recreated Edo-period town. Enjoy beautiful photo shoots in settings used for actual period dramas and movies.

Zazen (Zen Meditation) Experience

Forget daily distractions and experience a time rarely found in everyday life with Zazen meditation. The Zazen experience at Ryosokuin includes warm-up exercises, an explanation of Zazen, the Zazen meditation itself, and a lecture. Lasting 90 minutes, the session is beginner-friendly, with the resident priest providing detailed guidance on etiquette and meditation. Don’t be intimidated; relax and participate while listening to the priest’s teachings.

  • Location: Ryosokuin
  • Price: Adults from 2,000 yen
  • Access: 5 minutes on foot from Gion-Shijo Station, 591 Komatsucho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0811
  • Google Maps: Link
7 Temples You Can Experience Zen Sitting Meditation in KyotoThe ancient city of Kyoto which attracts tourists from all over the ...


Perfect for Kyoto Sightseeing! Unique Experiences to Enjoy During Your Journey

Rickshaw Experience

For efficient sightseeing through Kyoto’s streets, the rickshaw experience is recommended. Unlike cars or buses, this activity lets you enjoy the scenery while feeling the wind and sounds. Engage in lively conversations and receive sightseeing guidance from the energetic rickshaw puller. With 30, 60, and 120-minute courses available, you can tailor your experience to your schedule. The view of Kyoto’s streets from the elevated rickshaw is sure to create wonderful memories you can’t capture elsewhere.

  • Location: Ebisuya
  • Price: Adults from 4,374 yen
  • Access: 14 minutes on foot from Gion-Shijo Station, 483 Shimokawara-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0825
  • Google Maps: Link

Hozugawa River Boat Ride Experience

Flowing from Kameoka to Arashiyama, the Hozugawa River offers a boat ride experience surrounded by mountainous valleys and ever-changing trees. Navigate through thrilling rapids and diverse courses, attracting visitors of all ages. The boatman’s sightseeing commentary and entertaining talk add a sense of unity among passengers, enhancing the enjoyment of the experience.

  • Location: Hozugawa River Boat Ride
  • Price: Adults from 4,100 yen
  • Access: 10 minutes on foot from Kameoka Station, 2 Shimonakajima, Hozu-cho, Kameoka, Kyoto 621-0005
  • Google Maps: Link
Hozugawa river cruise(Hozugawa Kudari), Enjoy Thrills in Kyoto SightseeingWhen speaking of Arashiyama, you know that it is the one of must-vis...

Arashiyama Sagano Torokko Train Experience

Connecting Arashiyama and Kameoka, the Arashiyama Torokko train allows you to enjoy the scenery of Arashiyama, a popular sightseeing spot in Kyoto. Operating as a tourist train, the Sagano Torokko Train travels about 7.5 kilometers at a leisurely pace, providing the opportunity to appreciate the surrounding landscapes. Particularly recommended during the autumn season for viewing the vibrant red and orange hues painting the mountains from the windowless train.

  • Location: Sagano Torokko Train
  • Price: Adults from 880 yen
  • Access: 8 minutes on foot from Arashiyama Station, Sagatenryuji Tsukurimichicho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto 616-8373
  • Google Maps: Link


Create Memories of Kyoto to Take Home! Hands-On Craft Experiences

Wagashi (Japanese Sweets) Making Experience

Experience making authentic Japanese sweets using the same anko (sweet bean paste) used by a traditional Kyoto wagashi (Japanese sweets) shop. Create two seasonal wagashi under the guidance of an instructor in approximately 65 minutes. The experience includes explanations and photo sessions, making it enjoyable for both beginners and those unfamiliar with Japanese sweet-making.

  • Location: An Kyoto – Japanese Culture Experience
  • Price: Adults from 1,570 yen
  • Google Maps:link

Handmade Lamp Experience

At Akari Design Workshop, a studio specializing in the creation and sale of lighting fixtures using traditional Japanese paper (washi), you can engage in the experience of crafting your own delightful lampshade. There are four courses available, with the recommended option being the Standard Course, where you choose one design from four shapes and proceed to craft it. The estimated time to completion is approximately 2 hours. Through designing your own patterns, you’ll witness the transformation of washi into a lampshade that radiates gentle light.

  • Akari Design Workshop
    • Price: Adults 3,500 yen and up
    • Access: 8 minutes on foot from Marutamachi Station
    • Address: 422 Shimoshinmachi, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, 602-8365
    • Google Maps: Link

Accessories Making Experience

Itoaware, a popular workshop, offers an experience in crafting ring accessories using the traditional technique known as “Rokusho” where metal is hammered and stretched. You can choose your preferred material from options like silver, yellow gold, and pink gold. Engage in the artisanal process of shaping the ring using a hammer. For couples visiting, this experience leads to the creation of unique pairings from the collaborative journey. The time required is approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, and you can take your crafted ring home on the spot.

  • Itoaware – Itoaware Kyoto Store
    • Price: Adults 3,300 yen and up
    • Access: 16 minutes on foot from Kiyomizu Gojo Station
    • Address: 91-5 Hoshinocho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0853
    • Google Maps: Link

Pottery Experience

Located just a 7-minute walk from Kiyomizu-dera Temple, the Kyoto Shimizu branch of Mizuko Kiln is a popular spot for easily accessible pottery experiences during Kyoto sightseeing. Under the guidance of skilled artisans with a tradition spanning approximately 250 years, you can enjoy an authentic pottery experience. Even beginners can create high-quality tableware, and the attentive service includes the free rental of work clothes and the option to have your experience captured on your smartphone.

  • Mizuko Kiln Kyoto Shimizu Store
    • Price: Adults 2,200 yen and up
    • Access: 16 minutes on foot from Kiyomizu Gojo Station
    • Address: 385-5 Yasakajodori, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0827
    • Google Maps: Link
Retro station and rice field art! Shigaraki Railway's JourneyShigaraki is located in Koka city in Shiga prefecture. https://ja...

Chopstick Making Experience

At Hashi Kobo Ooshita, which sells chopsticks appreciated as gifts made from materials such as lacquer and bamboo, you can not only purchase but also experience crafting your own chopsticks. There are four types of experiences available, ranging from creating sophisticated items using a polishing machine to those that require a bit of artistic sense, involving carving bamboo with a knife. Courses suitable for various ages and skill levels are offered. With options suitable for families with small children, it’s a recommended activity for a summer vacation parent-child project.

  • Hashi Kobo Ooshita Arashiyama Store
    • Price: Adults 1,320 yen and up
    • Access: 1 minute on foot from Arashiyama Station
    • Address: 40-8 Sagatenryuji Moribacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8385
    • Google Maps: Link


  1. I loved you even more than you’ll say here. The picture is nice and your writing is stylish, but you read it quickly. I think you should give it another chance soon. I’ll likely do that again and again if you keep this walk safe.


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