This walk has been privately operated since 1996 by Mr. Hajime Hirooka, better known as Johnnie Hillwalker, one of the best tour guides in Japan, with 49 years of tour guide experience. His walk has been acclaimed worldwide as one of the uniquest tours in the world.
"Explore Kyoto's back streets for four fascinating hours."
- San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 30, 2000
"Johnnie unveils an astounding array of Kyoto crafts and experiences."
- Traditional Home, Nov. 2000
NHK (many times), TBS, MBS, KBS, BBC Holiday and British Channel Four have all introduced Johnnie's walk on their TV programs.
This is an all walking tour.
The walk is easy, covering
3 kilometers in 5 hours. No up and down.
Slow walking, visiting many places,
mostly private, with much talking about Buddhism, Shinto, geisha, history, and
No reservation system, just join and go.
Operated March through to November. Not operated in December, January and February.
Walk every Monday, Wednesday & Friday.Not on Sun., Tue., Thu. & Sat.
No walk on National Holidays.
Walk rain or shine.
Start walking at 10:15 from JR Kyoto station.
The Check-in place is an easy to find small, 10 steps down Square, you find when
you walk out of the main entrance (Karasuma gate) of Kyoto station. In the direction
of Kyoto tower, you will find some trees surrounding the meeting place, a small
low square. MAP
Tour fare is 2,000 yen.(About $20 U.S.dollars) Cash only.
Children 15, 14, 13 years old 1,000 yen.
Smaller children free.
No other charges.
The size of the tour is 20 or so. No limit. 50 all right.
The tour visits:
Higashi-Honganji, the biggest Buddhist temple, not a tourist spot, but a place of worship. We have to take off our shoes to go inside.
3 Shinto shrines, Ayako Tenman-gu ,Ichihime shrine and Toyokuni shrine.
A former geisha area, Gojo rakuen.
A graveyard in Chokodo Temple, or Renkoji Temple.
4 workshops in private homes along back alleys where such things as Buddhist prayer beads, paper fans, tofu, paper lanterns, rope decorations, green tea containers, Japanese pastries and pottery are made.
No lunch stop.There is a rest in an old pastry shop, Kanshundo-Higashimise, around 2:00, where you are served a small piece of Japanese pastry with a cup of green tea. phone 075-561-1318.
The tour finishes around 3:00-3:30 near Kiyomizu temple, the No. 1 tourist spot in Kyoto, half way up the eastside hill, with wonderful views and many shops, and restaurants along old Kyoto-style lanes, the best part of Kyoto to spend the remaining of the day yourself.
You find our pamphlets at most of the hotels, ryokans, information desks in Kyoto.
2010, Johnnie asked WaRaiDo Guide Networks Co., Ltd. to cooperate with this tour.
Now WaRaiDo takes care of Monday and Friday Walks.
Johnnie takes care of Wednesday Walks.
Last update Jan. 2013
2A1401 Mukaijima New Town, Fushimi, Kyoto 612-8141 JAPAN
Home Phone & Fax: 81-75-622-6803
Guide Networks Co., Ltd.
PRIVATE TOUR Click here!
Shihoko Ms. Hirooka, with 35 years of guide experience, offers private tour showing you around Kyoto and Nara area, with guiding fee of 10,000yen half day, 15,000 yen full day, per one party, not including transportations, admissions nor meals.
Mobile: Shihoko 090-8989-3679
blog: Guide in Kyoto-Shihoko Hirooka's Private Guide Blog-