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Spots in Gion / Higashiyama / Yamashina Area

  • Kiyomizu-dera Temple
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    4.5
    11342 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Kiyomizu 1-294
    A famous Buddhist temple located in Higashiyama Ward in Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. The temple is said to have been started when the priest Enchin enshrined a thousand-armed statue of Kannon above the Otowa Waterfall in 778. The main temple nave enshrines a standing figure of an eleven-faced Kannon and is built in the elegant Shinden-zukuri style. The Kiyomizu Stage jutting out over the Cliffside offers a sweeping view of the streets of Kyoto and blooming cherry trees, verdant plant life, or autumn foliage depending on the season, making it a popular photo spot. The three channeled Otowa Waterfall is said to provide benefits such as long life and people line up to drink its waters. Bustling with students on a school excursion as well as tourists both domestic and international, the Kiyomizu-dera Temple is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist sites.

    Honestly the part I enjoyed the most was the sight of the city, the place surrounded by mountains have a feeling of mysticism that is amazing,

  • Yasaka-jinja Shrine (Gion Shrine)
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    4.0
    1557 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Gionmachikitagawa 625
    Popularly known as Gion Shrine, this Shinto shrine is the head shrine of all 3,000 some Gion shrines in Japan. The main shrine building, a designated Important Cultural Property, is actually comprised of the separate shrine sanctuary and worship hall combined under one roof in an architectural style called Gion-zukuri. The shrine’s famed Gion Matsuri festival in summer got its start as a ceremony to pray for the end of a great plague in 869. From New Year’s Eve through New Year’s Day, the shrine is visited by a great many worshippers come to perform the “okera-mairi” ceremony. The ceremony involves lighting a lucky rope from sacred fire of burning “okera” (Atractylodes japonica) roots to bring the fire home and start one’s first home fire of the new year, thus bringing good luck for the rest of the year. The Ota-sha Shrahige-jinja Shrine located on the grounds of Yasaka Shrine is believed to provide grant divine favor to those seeking to improve in the performing arts and, as such, the shrine is visited by Gion geisha and maiko.

    Yasaka Shrine was a Shinto shrine in Gion district and it included several buildings, gates, a stage and main hall. It was initially constructed in 656 and from 1981 onwardes, it was officially...

  • Tofuku-ji Temple
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    4.5
    1773 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Honmachi 15-778
    Construction of this large temple was begun in 1236 by the regent Kujo Michiie, who wanted to enshrine Kyoto’s largest monastery. The construction ultimately took 19 years to complete. The temple’s spacious grounds are home to such highlights as Japan’s oldest main temple gate (a designated National Treasure), and a toilet constructed in the Zen style as well as a temple nave decorated with a painting of a dragon on its ceiling (both Important Cultural Properties). Four gardens are distributed to the east, west, north, and south sides of the grounds, and each offers charming but different scenery. The northern garden in particular, with its checkerboard of moss and stones, is a must-see.

    Tofukuji temple is a zen sect temple in Kyoto. It is superb place to visit during Spring and Autumn viewing.

  • Kodai-ji Zen Temple
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    4.5
    1460 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto-shi Higashiyama-ku Kodaiji Shimogawara-machi 526
    This temple in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City was founded in 1606 to pray for Toyotomi Hideyoshi's happiness in the next life by his wife, Nene. Along with a mausoleum for the both of them, you can also visit the front gate of former Fushimi castle, the Kasatei teahouse, the Shiguretei teahouse, the Kaisando hall which holds favorite mementos of the two, and the Mizukidai pavilion (all of which are Important Cultural Properties of Japan). The fine gold lacquer work on the Buddha dais and miniature shrine within the mausoleum are masterpieces of Momoyama-period artwork and known as Kodai-ji Temple Makie. The garden on site surrounding a small pond is not to be missed and has been nationally designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty as well as a Historic Site. It is lit up during the sakura cherry blossom season in spring, at night in summer, during the gorgeous foliage season in fall, and on New Year's Eve.

    Spent the afternoon here while on the World Tea Tours - Tea Tour of Japan 2019. Enjoyed an introduction to the temple as well as a private tea ceremony all while wearing Kimono. A delight.

  • Shoren-in Temple
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    4.5
    755 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Awataguchisanjoubouchou 69-1
    Together with the Sanzen-in Temple and Myoho-in Temple, the Shoren-in Temple is a Tendai Buddhist temple. Because it served as a temporary Imperial palace in the Edo period, it is also called the “Old Kurita Imperial Palace.” This highly formal temple is deeply tied to the Imperial household—since ancient times, the temple’s head priest was a member of the Imperial household or a line of Imperial regents and advisors. The entire spacious approximately 33,000 square meter grounds are a nationally designated Historic Site. The highlights of the grounds are the temple’s two gardens which give visitors the chance to enjoy beautiful, seasonal scenery. One is a traditional circular strolling garden with a central pond created by Soami in the Muromachi period. The other, the Kirhishima-no-niwa, was created by Kobori Enshu (formally, Masakazu). Each year in spring and autumn, the gardens are lit up at night by approximately 1,000 lights large and small, creating magical sights.

    I first visited Shoren-in about 30 years ago. Fortunately it is off the tourist trail and sees few visitors. Sitting on the vast tatami matted room looking out over the garden is one of my favourite...

  • Gion Hatanaka
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    4.5
    628 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Gionmachiminamigawa 505 Yasaka Shrine Minaminoe
    This restaurant and traditional Japanese inn is located in front of south gate of Yasaka Shrine in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. Despite its location in florid Gion, this renowned establishment is quiet and peaceful. Here diners can enjoy Kyoto cuisine made with seasonal ingredients such as bamboo shoots in spring, eel  in summer, matsutake mushrooms in autumn, and crab in winter. Via the restaurant’s popular Kyoto Cuisine and Maiko Evening, you can enjoy a delicious meal and games with maiko (apprentice geisha). An English-speaking host and English language explanations and interpretation are available.

    We really love visiting Japan, but had never stayed in more traditional accommodation before so decided on a ryokan in Kyoto as a first attempt. Based on reviews and also as recommended on the...

  • Yasaka Hall Gion Corner
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    3.0
    519 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Gionmachiminamigawa 570-2 Inside the Yakinikan
    Here you can enjoy seven of Japan's traditional arts in the space of about an hour including Kyomai traditional Kyoto dance, Kyogen comedy theater, Gagaku traditional court music, Bunraku puppet theater, koto music, tea ceremony, and ikebana flower arranging. It is located inside the Yasaka Hall in Gion, Kyoto City, nearby the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo theater. In the lobby you'll find pictures of annual festivals held in ''Kyoto Gokagai (five districts)'' (Gion Kobu, Miyagawa-cho, Ponto-cho, Kamishichiken, Gion Higashi) as well as a Maiko gallery showing the ornamental flower pins worn by the Maiko, their hairstyles, and other small items. This is a famous place for seeing the character of Japan and is popular amongst students on school trips and foreign visitors. It is a five-minute walk from Gion-Shijo Station on the Keihan Line.

    1hr of all-round performance show to cover main varieties of Kyoto traditional leisure/entertainment activities. My 7yo son was able to sit through it all but was a bit bored by the end. Ticket is...

  • Kyoto Gion Tempura Yasaka Endo
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    4.5
    418 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Komatsuchou 566
    In 1885, Tempura Yasaka Endo was founded under the name Ochaya Omie. There you can dine from a menu that includes their famed Kyoto style tempura bursting with local ingredients. It's housed in a traditional Kyoto sukiya style building constructed 90 years ago in the early Showa period. They offer a variety of dining spaces from easily accessible counter seating to rooms with different feels perfect for entertaining or formal occasions. People also enjoy their lunch menu.

    Visited on a rainy night in December - one of the young waitresses was waiting in the street with an umbrella to shepherd me into the restaurant - a good impression right from the start. I...

  • Hokan-ji Temple (Yasaka-no-to)
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    4.0
    294 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Kiyomizu Yasaka Kami-cho 388
    A Buddhist temple famous for its five tier pagoda called the Yasakano-to located midway between Yasaka Shrine and the Kiyomizu-dera Temple. There are various theories about the origins of the Hokanji Temple, but it is generally believed to have been founded in the Asuka period (593–710) as the guardian temple of the Yasaka clan. The 46 meter tall five tier pagoda is a reconstruction built in 1440 by Ashikaga Yoshinori and is a nationally designated Important Cultural Property. Visitors can go inside the pagoda to view a dais on which are placed figures of Mahavairocana, Akshobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, and amoghasiddhi—the Five Perfected Ones; as well as the interior structure of the pagoda and the great central pillar supporting it.

    Old two storey wooden houses. If you coming on foot from Kiyomizudera Temple and walking towards downtown, you automatically walk through old Kyoto. There are lot of people wearing kimonos and...

  • Gion Izuju
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    4.0
    248 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Gionmachikitagawa 292-1
    A venerable sushi restaurant located in front of Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto City’s Higashiyama Ward founded in the late Meiji period. Specializing in Kyoto sushi, a unique variety of sushi which evolved in an area far from the sea, the restaurant’s saba mackerel sushi, made with cub mackerel from Tsushima Bay, is particularly famous. The thick, fatty meat of the shimesaba vinegar soused mackerel goes perfectly with the sumeshi vinegared rice. Other excellent choices include the makizushi rolled sushi, inarizushi fried tofu sushi, and hamonoko young pike conger narezushi fermented sushi. Diners even travel from overseas to enjoy a meal at this popular establishment.

    Food servered should have packed with more fish that commensurates with reputation and high appraisal by diners of Tripadvisor. The first restaurant since becoming a favourite fan of Japan Hour for...

  • Yasui Konpiragu Shrine
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    4.0
    261 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Shimobentenchou 70
    A Shinto shrine located in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City popularly known as Yasui no Konpira-san. Fujiwara no Kamatari established the shrine during the reign of Emperor Tenchi. He planted purple wisterias and named it Fuji-dera (the Temple of Wisteria) in prayer for the prosperity of his clan and the perpetuation of his descendants. The shrine is principally dedicated to Emperor Sutoku, who excised all desire from himself and became a monk in the Konpiragu in the former Sanuki Province; accordingly, the temple has attracted faithful seeking to excise all bad attachments and make good ones since ancient times. It is believed that spouses and couples who have a good relationship and come here will not see their relationships ended but rather find them growing deeper.

    This shrine is home to a stone that is thought to bind good relationships tighter or sever bad ones. To take advantage of the stones powers, purchase a special piece of paper from the counter next...

  • Gion Muraji Ramen
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    4.5
    209 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Kiyomotochou 373-3
    Gion Muraji Ramen in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward offers customers rich, white-broth ramen made with straight noodles and chicken bone stock. Simmered for a long time, the broth contains collagen and is made to be appealing even to people with smaller appetites. This restaurant does not look like a typical ramen shop and is on the second floor of machiya town house that seems hidden away from the rest of the city. Its traditional-style Japanese interior decor is also noteworthy.

    We found this place in Gion. The owner was very friendly and the food was great! She was very kind to my daughter! No toilet though.

  • Sohonzan Chishakuin Temple
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    4.5
    224 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Higashiojishichijou Shitaru Higashikawara Town, 964
    Located in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, this is the head temple of the Shingon Chisan sect of Buddhism. The full name of the temple is the Iobuzan Negoro-ji Chishakuin Temple. The temple was originally located on Mt. Negoro in the former Kii Province, but it was burned down by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and later rebuilt by head priest Genyu in Higashiyama. The temple stores and protects a number of Momoyama period sliding door paintings, including the Hasegawa Tohaku school Image of Cherries and Image of Maples, which are designated National Treasures. The temple’s garden, a designated Place of Scenic Beauty, is said to have been a favorite of tea ceremony master Sen no Rikyu and is a rare extant example of an early artificial hill and pond-style garden. Visited by a great number of people each year, the garden is particularly beautiful from the end of May to the end of June when the azalea’s come in bloom.

    I finally wanted to see what was behind the wall with the wooden barrier on what seemed the main gate. I walked to the side street and found a wonderful complex of two temples. Quiet and right in...

  • Jishu-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    178 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Kiyomizu 1-317
    A Shinto shrine located just to the north of the main sanctuary in the Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto that is popular with young women and couples due to its dedication to a god of marriage. There are two love fortune-telling stones located 10 meters apart from each other on the grounds and it is said one will achieve true love if one is able to reach one stone from the other while your eyes are closed. The main shrine, front shrine, and main gate are nationally designated Important Cultural Properties. In 1994, due to certain historical details, it was registered as part of the Kiyomizu-dera Temple under the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto World Heritage Site. The temple is also home to the famous Jishu Cherry, so beautiful it is said Emperor Saga turned his carriage around three times to view it again and also seen as the origin of the Japanese people’s love of cherry blossoms.

    This is the best! I have been there 8 years ago and my wish came true.Thank God! I visited there again and the staff are nice. Atmosphere is good! you must try the Love stone :P

  • Seikoro
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    4.5
    212 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Kyoto prefecture Kyoto shi Higashiyama kuya tower Tooru Gojo down Le 3 - chome Nishitibachi cho 467
    A venerable traditional inn founded in 1831 and located in Higashiyama Ward in Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. The inn’s interior is Edo period in style with a hint of Taisho Roman. The inn offers a wide selection of rooms, from shoin-zukuri style rooms built a hundred years ago to Western style rooms offering excellent rooms to even rooms which allow guests to stay with their pets. Depending on room occupancy, reservations for dinner only are accepted. The inn’s Kyoto style kaiseki course cuisine is truly the taste of tradition. Carefully made with fresh ingredients, showiness and tricks are kept to a minimum, with flavor taking precedence over all. The inn’s spacious man-made hot spring bath is also popular.

    Staying at the Seikoro Ryokan was our first experience of a traditional Japanese inn and it was an absolute pleasure. The inn is very well positioned for exploring Kyoto. Seikoro’s intention is to...

  • Minamiza
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    4.5
    142 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto Shi Higashiyama Ward Shijyo Ohashi Ebisu
    A theater which has been in operation since the Edo period (1603–1868) located in Higashiyama Ward in Kyoto City. The theater has held kabuki performances for close to 400 years in Shijogawara where kabuki originated from, making it the oldest and most tradition-rich theater in Japan. The current building, four stories above ground and one below, incorporates modern and Momoyama architectural styles and was designated a Tangible Cultural Property in 1996. The theater’s performances of the Kaomise, held each year from the November 30 to the end of December, have become a winter tradition in Kyoto, and the sight of the traditional signboards presenting the performers’ names in Kanteiryu calligraphic style crowding the theater front above the entranceway is renowned.

    We watched “Tōkaidō Yotsuya kaidan” here. Got our tickets last minutes for 5500 Yen per person (cheapest category). We got to sit at the 3rd floor balcony, which is ok but the faces and costumes of...

  • Entoku-in Temple
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    4.0
    171 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto Kodai-ji Shimogawara-cho, 530
    Located in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, this is one of the sub temples of the Kodai-ji, Rinzai Kennin-ji Buddhist temple. Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s legal wife, Kitanomandokoro (known as Nene), spent the last 19 years of her life here. The temple’s North Garden is comprised of the Kesho palace and garden at Fushimi Castle, places where Nene spent much time with Hideyoshi, which were moved here by Nene and prepared by Kobori Enshu (Masakazu). The garden is in the Momoyama period style and is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty. The temple also possesses numerous Important Cultural Properties, including screen paintings by Hasegawa Tohaku (1539–1610). On the third day of each month, the temple makes its principle object of worship, Sanmen Daikokuten (a three-faced figure of Mahakala) which ensured Hideyoshi’s success in life, open to the public. Visitors can make a prayer by writing a wish on a gourd-shaped slip of paper.

    This temple is part of Kodajis temple and usually the admission is sold as a package deal. However one can choose to see this single temple. It is a small temple that offers tea services and...

  • Shogunzuka Seiryu-den Temple
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    4.0
    154 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Yamashina-ku Zushiokukachouchou 28
    When Emperor Kanmu embarked on the transfer of the capital to Heian-kyo, he buried a 2.5-meter tall clay statue of a shogun to protect the capital in a mound and prayed for the capital’s security, which is the origin of the name Shogunzuka. The okutono of the Daigomado’s Seiryuden which was built in 2014 enshrines the National Treasure Aofudo, and in front of this is an elaborate reproduction which has been created for worship. On the premises is a large observatory made of wood that is 4.6 times the size of Kiyomizudera Temple’s platform which allows visitors to enjoy a large panoramic view of Kyoto’s cityscape.

    Went early morning, and it was amazing! Nobody was there, and I could enjoy a silent view of the city. But what amazed me was being the only one sitting in front of the VERY beautiful painting of Ao...

  • Sennyu-ji Temple
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    4.0
    168 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Sennyujiyamanouchichou 27
    Located in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, this is the head temple of the Shingon Sennyu-ji sect of Buddhism. The temple’s principle object of worship are figures of Gautama Buddha, Amitabha, and Maitreya. The temple is said to have been founded in the Heian period (794–1185) but the real foundations were laid in the Kamakura period (1185–1333) by the priest Gachirin Daishi (Shungyo). The tombs of successive generations of emperors such as Emperor Go-Horikawa and Emperor Shijo can be found on the grounds. Long affiliated with the imperial family, the temple is also nicknamed “Mitera” (the August Temple). Famous for being part of the Seven Gods of Fortune Pilgrimage conduct each year on Coming of Age Day, it is said one can bring home luck itself by acquiring a bamboo branch decorated with tags showing it was carried to each of the temples in the pilgrimage.

    Sennyuji Temple located at west Kyoto and near to Tofukuji had been founded in the 10th century and settled in the present location during Meiji Period. There were several sub-temples uphill. Just a...

  • Ryozen-Kannon
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    4.0
    150 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto-shi Higashiyama-ku Kodaiji Shimogawara-machi 526-2
    This kannon statue is located in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City. This kannon was erected in 1955 as a memorial to the victims of war after World War II. The eleven-faced kannon is enshrined beneath this kannon image. In addition to memorial and internment services, the temple hosts workshops to experience zazen, and hannya shingyo heart sutra transcription events.

    This is a hidden gem in Kyoto. The word hidden is a misnomer here because you wont miss the giant Buddha statue towering at the foot of the mountains. If youre visiting the Gion area, you wont...

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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.

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