See Kyoto from a local perspective with a fabulous half-day cycling tour. Pedal along the city’s maze of backstreets to discover hidden teahouses, spot Geishas gracefully crossing the road and encounter scenes of Japanese daily life at every turn.
Start with a ride through Gion District, Kyoto’s main geisha and entertainment district. Pedal along Miyagawa-cho, a narrow lane lined with traditional houses called machiya. Stop for photos and a closer look at these well-preserved dwellings, learning about what life is like behind the doors.
Continue along the picturesque Shirakawa Canal that is lined with weeping willow trees, passing by some local restaurants and teahouses (ochaya) where Geishas and Maikos live and work. Turn on to Hanami-koji (flower-viewing street), which is the most famous alley in this area. With a stroke of luck, it may be possible to catch a glimpse of a Maiko as she rushes on from one lavish ochaya to another.
Then cycle away from Gion, heading to the Imperial Palace Park. Take a short tour of this park, seeing the site where the Imperial Family’s residence used to stand.
When it’s time to head back to the bike depot you’ll follow a different route back, riding alongside the Kamogawa River. This road is one of Kyoto’s most atmospheric, lined with cherry blossom trees on one side and a busy food stall street on the other.