Secluded zen gardens of Shisendo & Enkoji

4 Hours Up to 5 Guests Private Guide Flexible itinerary

Explore three of Kyoto's finest temple gardens well off the tourist trail

* Escape the crowds and discover some of Kyoto's most secluded zen gardens * Walk the charming backstreets through some of Kyoto's oldest neighbourhoods * Marvel at Shisendo, the picturesque retirement villa of a scholarly samurai * Stroll through Enkoji temple and its surrounding grounds, particularly beautiful in autumn * Soak up Manshuin, known for its ancient artwork, impressive 'borrowed scenery' and unique Goshuin stamps * Enjoy Kyoto's best ramen noodles and eat where the locals eat until your heart's content

For those looking to get off the tourist trail and enjoy some of the city’s true hidden gems, our Shisendo, Enkoji and Manshuin half day walking tour is one of the most unique ones we offer. We should know – we live in the area!
We begin by taking the train from central Kyoto to Ichijoji shopping street to discover some of the area’s local artisans as well as Kyoto’s best ramen noodles. This is where Kyotoites come to eat – the selection is amazing and there’s not a hint of English – true local style! 
Our walk then takes us to beautiful Shisendo temple, passing by tiny neighbourhood shrines, traditional houses, local vegetable farmers and small Jizo statues on the way. Shisendo’s gardens are particularly nice in the autumn and at other times of the year, we may have the temple all to ourselves – a truly sublime experience.
From there it’s a short walk to Enkoji temple, known for its ‘karesansui’ dry rock garden, impressive iron bell and bamboo grove before we follow a small mountain trail to Manshuin, a majestic Tendai Buddhism temple which boasts a fascinating history and some beautiful artwork dating back to the Muromachi Period in the 14th century. This is also a great place to collect Goshuin temple stamps from the resident head monk.  
If time allows there’s also the option to pass by the grounds of Shugakuin, a magnificent 17th century Imperial Family retreat which commands great views of the surrounding countryside, before returning by train to Kyoto. 



  • The price does not include transportation or temple / garden entrance fees for each guest and the guide 

  • We will provide an accurate estimate of these fees and any customised options at the time of confirmation

  • Please bring a little cash to enjoy some local snacks and delicacies! We can also tailor this to suit vegetarian and vegan clients

  • As this is a private walking tour, we can adjust the pace and length to suit but please let us know of any mobility issues

  • Please note our cancellation policy under ‘FAQs’ and we ask all guests to have comprehensive travel insurance

1 - 5 GUESTS
  • Accommodation meet and greet
  • Expert bilingual private guide
  • Local spots and hidden gems
  • Option to customise


"We loved visiting some of Kyoto’s finest secluded temples and beautiful shrines which we would never have found on our own while also enjoying the peaceful surrounding countryside. We ended our tour at a very local restaurant with a delicious Ramen Noodle dish – one of the best we had on this trip!"
B Hissette

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