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Dark Kyoto

Rated 5.0 out of 5 from 11 reviews.Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan

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Experience hosted by Atticus

4 hours
Includes tickets
Up to 10 people
Hosted in English

What you'll do

The yang of the bright and beautiful side of the city's 1200 year history is paralleled by the yin of the macabre, the bizarre and the bloody aspects of the story of Japan's old capital. Starting at Yasaka Shrine we will weave our way south through the back streets of Gion to Kiyomizu Temple, then descending through the Toribeno cemetery, one of the oldest and largest burial grounds dating back to the founding of the city. We pass through the shrine for cutting off bad relationships, stop by a 500 year old haunted candy shop, peek at the well that is said to have been used as a portal to the underworld by a famed Japanese sorcerer, and visit 'the hill of ears' monument.

This journey will give an overview of the city's history from its founding at end of the 8th century CE up to the modernization of Japan which began in the 19th century. Although the 'dark' will be highlighted in this experience, I also aim to impart an understanding of Japanese religious and cultural beliefs, including Zen Buddhism which we will learn about in Japan’s oldest Zen temple. You will will end the day with a more intimate understanding of Kyoto and a more balanced and realistic view of one of the world’s most fascinating cultures.
The yang of the bright and beautiful side of the city's 1200 year history is paralleled by the yin of the macabre, the bizarre and the bloody aspects of the story of Japan's old capital. Starting at Yasaka Shrine we will weave our way south through the back streets of Gion to Kiyomizu Temple, then descending through the Toribeno cemetery, one of the oldest and largest burial grounds dating back to the founding of the city. We pass through the shr…

Atticus's commitment to safety

This host has committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines – including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practising good hygiene, and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
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What's included

  • Tickets
    Entry fees to temples and sites are included in the experience price
From ₹5,805
/ person
Tue, 27 Oct
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
₹5,805 per person
₹5,805 per person
Wed, 28 Oct
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
₹5,805 per person
₹5,805 per person
Thu, 29 Oct
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
₹5,805 per person
₹5,805 per person

Meet your host, Atticus

Host on Airbnb since 2015
  • 11 Reviews
  • Identity verified
I'm the founder of Kyoto VR, an immersive media company dedicated to telling the story of Kyoto's rich history and culture. My work has allowed me access to some of Kyoto's most fascinating yet inaccessible sites as well as contacts in many of Kyoto's oldest traditions and institutions. It is my pleasure to give visitors unique insights and perspectives of Japan's ancient capital you won't be able to find in any guide book or travel site. My specialty is telling the story of this fascinating and magical place in ways that impart the richness of both ancient and modern culture of Kyoto. I realize that only the bright surface of Kyoto is portrayed for most visitors, so I seek to offer the darker side of the yin-yang dynamism and highlight the bloody, macabre and bizarre aspects of the tale the city has to offer.
I'm the founder of Kyoto VR, an immersive media company dedicated to telling the story of Kyoto's rich history and culture. My work has allowed me access to some of Kyoto's most fascinating yet inaccessible sites as well as contacts in many of Kyoto's oldest traditions and institutions. It is my pleasure to give visitors unique insights and perspectives of Japan's ancient capital you won't be able to find in any guide book or travel site. My specialty is telling the story of this fascinating an…
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Where you'll be

Meeting at the gates of Yasaka Shrine we will head south through the Ishibei-koji Alley into the back streets of the Gion District though Kenninji Temple. From here we follow the old path to the Toribeno Cemetery before climbing to Kiyomizu Temple. Finally we will visit the shrine of the Shogun Hideyoshi and one of the darker monuments of the city.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 from 11 reviews.

Gabriel
March 2020
Enjoyed the journey with Atticus into the hidden side of Kyoto. He will immediately put you at ease and will make you feel at home. Very well organized experience from quick communication, very knowledgeable about Kyoto's history and interesting stories I'd otherwise never know, not to mention perfect timing and execution of being in the right place at the right time. Thank you for this experience!
Enjoyed the journey with Atticus into the hidden side of Kyoto. He will immediately put you at ease and will make you feel at home. Very well organized experience from quick commun…
Katrina
January 2020
Atticus’ tour was awesome! It was sooo crowded in Kyoto when we were there (New Year’s) and he was able to detour on less crowded streets which we very much preferred. He knew so much about the different temples and shrines and taught us about Buddhism and Shintoism and the different gods. He also knew so much about Kyoto/Japan in general. Easy to communicate with because he’s from the US. A wonderful experience and highly recommend!!
Atticus’ tour was awesome! It was sooo crowded in Kyoto when we were there (New Year’s) and he was able to detour on less crowded streets which we very much preferred. He knew so m…
Ragna
January 2020
Atticus is a great guy and runs a fab tour. Informed, interested and willing to answer questions about the topics at hand. Thoroughly enjoyed the tour and the stories. His love for the city and his subject came through so well and was much appreciated. Highly recommend
Atticus is a great guy and runs a fab tour. Informed, interested and willing to answer questions about the topics at hand. Thoroughly enjoyed the tour and the stories. His love for…
Jennifer
December 2019
Atticus was knowledgeable, personable, and a terrific guide. He related well to our entire group (two families, including four teenagers 16-20), and very much enriched our experience of seeing Kyoto and its beautiful temples and shrines. His passion for and deep knowledge about Kyoto and its history really showed, and he took us through some beautiful neighborhoods and to several temples and locations that we never would have visited on our own, and shared some fascinating (and sometimes grisly) stories and legends about the city’s history. He also helped us understand some of the rituals and activities at the shrines and temples and their meanings, and he had a good sense for giving just the right amount of detail. He also gave us good tips for our remaining time in Kyoto — overall an EXCELLENT tour. Highly recommended!
Atticus was knowledgeable, personable, and a terrific guide. He related well to our entire group (two families, including four teenagers 16-20), and very much enriched our experie…
Emmelina
December 2019
Awesome afternoon/evening walking around the outskirts of Gion. Atticus was very welcoming and clearly passionate about this work. We learnt much about the history and culture of this region, whilst visiting beautiful sights. Well paced. The group initially felt slightly large with 10 people, but Atticus took care to make space for everyone and provide opportunity for questions, so this really wasn’t a problem. Atticus was also generous in providing recommendations for food and sights for our time in Kyoto. Would definitely recommend!
Awesome afternoon/evening walking around the outskirts of Gion. Atticus was very welcoming and clearly passionate about this work. We learnt much about the history and culture of t…
Nico
December 2019
we had such a wonderful time on this dark kyoto experience - atticus’ passion and interest for kyoto’s history and culture is evident the moment you set off. he always has interesting bits of information you would never have imagined about everyday shops and little streets. the tour itself was very interactive and we were given the opportunity to participate and understand the meaning/history behind local practices, and were even able to exchange a couple of chilling stories while strolling along a quiet cemetery at dusk. atticus was informative, accommodating, and a fantastic guide that we are now proud to call our friend :) we can’t imagine how upset we’d be knowing we left kyoto without doing this tour, and would happily do it all over again. thanks atticus!!
we had such a wonderful time on this dark kyoto experience - atticus’ passion and interest for kyoto’s history and culture is evident the moment you set off. he always has interest…

Choose from available dates

30 available
1 / 2
  • Tue, 27 Oct
    2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    ₹5,805 per person
  • Wed, 28 Oct
    2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    ₹5,805 per person
  • Thu, 29 Oct
    2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    ₹5,805 per person
  • Fri, 30 Oct
    2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    ₹5,805 per person
  • Sat, 31 Oct
    2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    ₹5,805 per person
  • Sun, 1 Nov
    2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    ₹5,805 per person
  • Mon, 2 Nov
    2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    ₹5,805 per person
  • Tue, 3 Nov
    2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    ₹5,805 per person

Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 10 guests ages 8 and up can attend. Parents may also bring children under 2 years of age.

More tips

This experience is open for all ages, but there will be themes of violence, death and the supernatural, so parents should be advised that it may not be appropriate for younger children .

What to bring

Walking shoes

Water