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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Kawaramachi / Shijokarasuma Area

  • Nijojo Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto City Kyoto City Nakagyo-ku Nijyotoru Horikawa Western Nishi Nijo Castle Town 541
    This fortification was built in 1603 to lodge Tokugawa Ieyasu when he travelled to the capital after his victory at the Battle of Sekigahara. Later, the site was significantly renovated by the third shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, resulting in its present form. In addition to the entire grounds being a nationally designated Historic Site, the site is dotted with numerous historically valuable structures and beautiful sights, including the Ninomaru Palace, the outer citadel palace (a National Treasure), Honmaru Palace, the inner citadel palace (an Important Cultural Property), and Ninomaru Garden, the outer citadel palace garden (a Special Place of Scenic Beauty).
  • Nishi Hongan-ji Temple
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    4.5
    757 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto City Shimogyo-ku Horikawa Nagaya-machi Town Down
    The head temple of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji sect of Buddhism believed to have originally been built as the mausoleum of the priest Shinran Shonin in 1272. After repeated relocations including Osaka and Wakayama, the temple was moved to its current location in 1591 with a donation from Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1591. The Nishi Hongwanji Temple (officially Ryukokuzan Hongwanji Temple) is the site of numerous Azuchi-Momoyama period structures designated National Treasures, including the Goei-do hall, Amidado-hall, the Kitano Stage (Japan’s oldest Noh stage), and study. The study’s garden is a traditional dry landscape garden and is designated a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. In 1995, the entire grounds of the shrine were registered as part of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto” World Heritage listing.

    It was very nice to enjoy the scenery that the old-huge Gingko tree in the middle of the temple area. In early December, we can see the tree in its full golden/yellowish leaves. Omoshirokatta desu!

  • Mibu-dera Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto City Nakagyo-ku Boujo Tousu Buddha Temple Northern entrance
    Located in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City, this is the head temple of Ritsu Buddhism. The temple was founded in the Heian period (794–1185) when Kaiken, a priest from the Onjo-ji Temple enshrined an image of Kshitigarbha here to memorialize his deceased mother. The temple continues to perform the Dainenbutsu farce said to have been created by Engaku, the priest who is said to have restored the temple in the Middle Ages. The temple also once served as a training ground for Shinsengumi, the Shogunate police and houses a bust of Kondo Isami, a former head of the police, as well as the graves of several members of the force.
  • Honno-ji Temple
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    3.5
    179 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto City Nakagyo-ku Teramachi-dori Oimachiro Down Shimotsunagae-cho 522
    Located in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City, this is the head temple of Hokke Honmon Buddhism. The temple is famous as being the site where Oda Nobunaga was defeated by Akechi Mitsuhide. The temple was originally located at Horigawa Shijo, but was rebuilt at its current location by Toyotomi Hideyoshi after the Oda Nobunaga incident. A memorial tower stands on the grounds that is believed to have once housed Nobunaga’s longsword. In memory of the Nobunaga incident (June in 1582), the Nobunaga Festival is held each year at the temple on the first Saturday and Sunday of June.

    We had a quick look round this historic temple, located just off the shopping streets! To be honest, its nothing amazing, but still worth a quick look if youre in the area.

  • Higashi Honganji Temple
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    4.0
    714 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto City Shimogyo-ku Karasuma-dori Seven Rises
    Higashi Honganji Temple is the head temple of the Otani sect of Shinshu Buddhism. The “Goeido” housing an image of sect founder Shinran is said to be one of the world’s largest wooden buildings with dimensions north-south of 76 meters, east-west of 58 meters, and a height of 38 meters. It was occasionally devastated by fire, and the current building is a reconstruction from the Meiji period. The gate outside Goeido, “Goeidomon,” is one of Kyoto’s three large gates.

    Very pretty temple with great architecture and peaceful surroundings. Unless you are going to pray, there is not much to see in the temples themselves. Also make sure you don’t take photos inside the...

  • Kyoto International Manga Museum
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    4.0
    596 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Karasuma-ku Ikegami Le, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
    This manga museum in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto, is Japan's largest manga museum. It first opened in 2006. Including valuable works from the Meiji period and the post-WWII period as well as popular modern titles and foreign works, they have almost 300,000 pieces in their collection. One of their showcases is a ''Manga Wall'' with 50,000 volumes of manga arrayed on bookcases that visitors can freely read. The spacious building is the former Tatsuike Elementary School and people can be found everywhere inside or outside on the lawn reading manga. This is a popular location for foreign tourists and couples.

    Im a fan of manga, but unfortunately, cannot read Japanese. If youre like me, I wouldnt especially recommend this museum. Its essentially a big library, but the VAST majority of manga in here are...

  • Ichihime-jinja Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Shimogyou-ku Kawaramachigojou Below the First Level Nishijiru
    This was built in 795 by Fujiwara no Fuyutsugu under orders of Emperor Kammu. The enshrined deities are all goddesses, and as successive generations of empress believed in the shrine as a protector of women it is famous for helping with marriage, children and childbirth. The card-shaped charms are popular.
  • Chohoji Temple (Rokkaku-do)
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    4.0
    218 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nakagyo-ku Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture Tsu Rokkaku Higashibora Council Nishiiri Donomae-cho
    An independent Tendai Buddhist temple said to be established by Prince Shotoku (574–622) located in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City. The temple is commonly known as the Rokkaku-do (Hexagonal Hall) due to the hexagonal main temple building. The temple has numerous interesting highlights, including the site of a pond where Prince Shotoku is said to have purified himself, smiling figures of the 16 arhats, and the Rokkaku Willow, which is believed to provide luck with marriage. The Ikenobo family served for generations as the head priests of the temple, and the various contributions they made to Buddhist prayer flower arrangements make the temple the birthplace of the traditional art of flower arranging.

    This unique hexagon shaped temple considered the birthplace of flower arranging is just a few short blocks from Kyotos main shopping street so is an easy walk-by. There was some renovation in...

  • Museum of Kyoto
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    3.5
    212 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Nakagyou-ku Sanjoutakakura
    This museum introduces the history and traditions of Kyoto via a variety of means, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of Kyoto culture. The permanent exhibit presents the history of Kyoto from the Heian period to the Showa period via three zones, with a focus on fascinating actual Kyoto artifacts such as cultural properties and costumes used in the Gion Festival. The multiple special exhibits held each year are also popular with visitors. The museum’s theater presents masterworks of film relating to Kyoto. The red brick Annex building, an Important Cultural Property constructed in 1906, was originally the Kyoto branch office of the Bank of Japan. The museum’s Roji Tempo area recreates an Edo period street lined with Kyoto merchants’ homes, and here visitors can enjoy dining and shopping at numerous restaurants and shops. Karasuma Oike Station is the closest station to the museum.

    I visited the Kyoto museum without any expectations except to learn something of the local history and culture. What I found when I got there was a fantastic exhibition of the Czech artist Mucha...

  • Kyoto Railway Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Shimogyou-ku Kankijichou
    A museum dedicated to railways located on the western side of Kyoto Station. The museum features some 31 thousand square meters of exhibition space, which was the largest in Japan when the facility first opened. The facility displays 53 trains which helped lead the modernization of Japan. The museum is full of other interesting sights and activities, as well, including a giant railroad diorama, a train which visitors can ride pulled by a real steam engine, and a train simulator which shows what it's like to drive a train. The museum also provides a variety of cultural activities such as guided tours and workshops conducted by JR West Japan employees. Walk 20 minutes west from the central entrance of JR Kyoto Station.
  • Nishiki Tenman-gu Shrine
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    4.0
    230 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nakagyo-ku Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture Shinkyogoku communication Nishikikoji
    A Shinto shrine located in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City dedicated to the Tenman-Tenjin (Sugawara no Michizane). The shrine is located on the eastern edge of Nishiki Market, considered the “Kitchen of Kyoto,” and attracts worshipers seeking to be blessed by the god of wisdom, scholarship, and business acumen, as well as good luck, warding from evil, and prevention of disaster. There is a mikuji (fortune slip) vending machine called Karakuri mikuji in front of the shrine office – insert a coin and select the type of fortune you would like to receive and the lion-dog statue in the machine will dance to kagura music until your slip is issued. The shrine’s ground span some 660 square meters and contain a spring called the Nishiki no Mizu whose waters remain a cool 18 degrees Celsius even in the middle of summer; many visitors come here just to taste these famous Kyoto waters.

    This small shrine in the shopping district of Kyoto is hard to miss if youre on the shopping trail. It is a very nicely maintained small shrine just of Shinkyogoku.

  • Shinsengumi Mibu Tonjo Kyuseki Yagi Family
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    4.0
    54 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Nakagyou-ku Mibunaginomiyachou 24
    This is the old residence of the Yagi family in Mibu village. The residence was the Mibu Tonsho or headquarters of the Shinsengumi shogunate police and the place of origin of this force. It was the place of the Serizawa Kamo assassination and even today the sign of a sword cut remains in the lintel. It is possible to see inside the building. One can also enjoy matcha and Tonsho mochi rice cakes.

    For anyone who is a fan of the stories that abound around the Shinsengumi, that militia that terrorised Kyoto during the Bakamutsu period at the end of the Edo era, this place is a must see. Its...

  • Sumiya Motenashi Cultural and Art Museum
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    4.5
    51 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Shimogyou-ku Nishishinyashikiageyachou 32
    One often hears of geisha quarter “Shimabara” in Kyoto period dramas. Now it is Nishishinyashiki Ageya-cho, and what remains of that time is the Sumiya Motenashi Museum of Art and Culture. Sumiya was a high-class pleasure house built at the beginning of the establishment of Shimabara in 1641. The wide garden facing the tatami room has a tea house, and the place was used not only for parties but tea ceremonies and gathering of haiku poets too. In 1952 it was designated an Important Cultural Property of Japan as a place retaining the culture of feasts and hospitality.

    This place is a real find and usually off the beaten tourist track for non Japanese. To get the best its advisable to have the benefit of an interpreter. We hired a Japanese tour guide for the day as...

  • Kyoto Orthodox Church (Kyoto Cathedral of the Annunciation)
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    4.0
    17 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto City Nakagyo-ku Yanagi Baba Tousu Nijo climb 6-283
    The Kyoto Eastern Orthodox Church is located in a quiet residential area coming out of Yanaginobanba-dori Street from Oike-dori Street. As the center for the propagation of the Greek Orthodox Church across western Japan it was completed in 1903 and as a genuine Russian / Byzantine construction church it is has been designated one of Kyoto’s Important Cultural Properties. The highlight is the cathedral’s iconostasis inlayed with 30 icons made in the era of the Russian Empire. However, to see it one must arrange in advance.

    京都市中央区柳馬場通二条を上がった右側にあります。日本正教会の現存する聖堂・会堂のうち最古の聖堂とのことです。ロシアビザンチン様式の白い建物の上には十字架が青空に突き出すように建っています。 京都市指定文化財となっています。

  • Takoyakushido (Eifukuji Temple)
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Nakagyou-ku Shinkyougokutakoyakushi East side town 503
    Takoyakushido is built facing Shinkyogoku-dori street. It attracts so many believers that it has become known as Takoyakushi-dori Street. It is famous as a spot to pray for recovery from illness.
  • Kouenji Temple
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    3.0
    3 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Shimogyou-ku Ayakoujiomiya Nishinari Shijo Omiya Machi 37
    A Pure Land Buddhist Temple founded in 1613 and branch temple of the Chion-in temple. The temple nave houses a figure of Amitabha. The temple was closely connected to the Shinsengumi, the shogunate police, and many people connected to the force are buried here. It is also the gravesite of many warriors, such as Yamanami Keisuke and Kawai Kisaburo.

    四条大宮駅近くの、お寺が並ぶうちの1つです。こちらは浄土宗の寺院です。保育園があり、園児の賑やかな声がしていました。あまり見ると不審者に思われそうで遠慮しました。観光寺ではなさそうです。境内の前に山陽先生瘞髪碑がありました。

  • Hozo-ji Temple
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    3.5
    22 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Nakagyou-ku Uraderachou Street street pharmacist rising Uederi cho 587
    A Pure Land Seizan Fukakusa school Buddhist temple located on Urateramachi-dori Avenue in Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. The temple is dedicated to Amitabha. The temple is also famously connected to Ito Jakuchu, a painter who was active in the mid-Edo period, and many tourists come here seeking the temple's seal book for receiving the temple's official seal because it features striking designs by Jakuchu.

    This Temple is fairly easily accessible if you use an online map, and a bus from Kyoto station. Near a bunch of shopping malls you can find this temple tucked away. When we came a few people were...

  • Ryukoku University Ryukoku Museum
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    4.0
    37 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto Shirokyo-ku Horikawa Dori Front (Nishihonganji Temple in front)
    Ryukoku Museum is dedicated to Buddhism and based on the research of Ryukoku University. Visitors learn about Buddhist thought, history, and culture through easy to understand displays of authentic items. In addition, their special theme-based exhibitions and planned exhibitions held a few times a year are always interesting. The museum's first floor cafe and shop can be used without visiting the museum itself.

    We decided to stop at this Museum as it started to rain very hard after our visit of the Nishi Hongwangi Temple ( on the other side of the street ) .Lots of children around taking classes and...

  • Koudo, Gyoganji Temple
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    4.0
    43 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto City Nakagyo-ku Teramachi-dori Takeya Town Kameru Bokenji temple gate town
    Kakudo, Gyoganji Temple is the 19th station on the Saigoku Sanjusansho pilgrimage circuit. Founded by Gyoen Shonin and originally built on Ichijo-dori Street, it has a thousand-year history. The temple was destroyed many times by war and fire, but through the fervent faith of the people it was reconstructed again and again. Designated by Kyoto City as a Tangible Cultural Property, the ceiling of the main hall is carved with depictions of flowers and birds. The principal object of worship is a Thousand-armed Kannon Bodhisattva said to be carved by Gyoen Shonin himself.

    京都市内は御朱印を集めているのでこちらにも立ち寄ってみました。建物も立派で人も多くにぎわっておりました。外国人もおおかったです。

  • Costume Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto-shi, Shimogyo-ku Horikawa Don Shin-Hanaya Town Downtown Izuchi Left Beef Building 5F
    Opened in 1974, the Costume Museum features exhibits of Japanese clothing and customs around it dating from ancient to modern times. In 2012 they added a 1:4 scale exhibition on the early and middle Heian period. It lets visitors experience the world of the Heian period with the five senses and the transformations that took place over its 400 years.

Kyoto Areas

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Its wooden tea houses, shuffling geisha, and spiritual sights have seen Kyoto hailed as the heart of traditional Japan, a world apart from ultramodern Tokyo. Despite being the Japanese capital for over a century, Kyoto escaped destruction during World War II, leaving behind a fascinating history which can be felt at every turn, from the fully gold-plated Kinkakuji Temple down to traditional customs such as geisha performances and tea ceremonies, which are still practiced to this day.

Kyoto Photo Album

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