The Hidden Water Cycling Tour


Kyoto is famous for its tofu, sake, and tea because of its crystal-clear underground water. It also has a darker underbelly — the hidden water trade. Come on the Hidden Water Cycling Tour of Kyoto to drink from Kyoto’s historic wells, visit a former red light district, and perhaps even spot a geisha or two.

What we’ll do

We’ll visit wells with stories of love and heartbreak. The 3 shrines we’ll pop by will all be over a thousand years old each. We'll weave through a former red light district and make a brief stop at the headquarters of the notorious yakuza You'll also get a glimpse of Kyoto's floating world of the geishas. Then we will have tea made from the well water we collect.

What’s included

Bicycle & helmet
Seasonal Japanese confectionery
Japanese tea

2:30PM - 5:30PM

Small groups of 1-6
Guided in English
3 hours total


100% 5-star reviews

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What our guests say

There’s a ton of stories on this tours, so if you love a good tale, definitely join! I loved all the history covered in this tour, and getting to try different waters was cool, too. Riding along the river was really pleasant.
— Barun, Osaka
The tour offers a unique way to see Kyoto. We saw amazing streets, neighborhoods, waterways, temples and shrines during the tour.
— Jim, USA
We are a family of four with two boys 10 and 12 who booked the tour hoping to get an introduction to the less well known side of Kyoto with a local guide. We got all that and more!
— Mark, USA
The best part of the tour was being able to collect water from different underground water sources... I regret not bringing more water bottles to bring the water home with me. It sounds crazy but the water is special!
— Aletheia, Singapore
An incredibly entertaining and soul-touching tour! We got to see a lot and learn a lot. We got to touch the culture, to learn about the religion and explore many, many shrines, temples and water sources!
— Vyara, USA
Stop looking and pick this one! Great tour, would do it again!
— Chris, USA

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Refund policy: You will get a full refund if you cancel 3 days (72 hours) before the tour, but not if you cancel less than 3 days before the tour. There are no refunds for no shows. You will be offered a reschedule or refund if walks are cancelled because of heavy rain, typhoon warnings, major earthquakes, or any other natural disasters.



Where do we meet?

We meet at Friends Kyo, the hostel we run. You’ll get a map and directions immediately after you book the tour. You can use the toilet and leave heavy items in the hostel before we start the tour.

Do we cycle if it rains or snows?

No. The walk will be cancelled in the event of rain, snow, if there are strong winds, or if there is a major earthquake. You will have a chance to reschedule or choose to be refunded in full.

Can children come?

Guests ages 8 and up can attend. Parents are welcome to take children aged 8 and up on the tour (they must be registered as guests). Please be sure that they are ready to cycle for 3 hours. This tour is unsuitable for children aged 8 and younger because we do not have bicycles for them, and it will not be safe for them to cycle on the road.

Do we cycle on the road?

Only part of the way, and even then on the cycling lane. We will be on pedestrian/cyclist paths half the time.