Spots in Gion / Higashiyama / Yamashina Area

  • Tofuku-ji Temple
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    4.5
    1808 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.

    wandered here through the sennyu-ji temple, a beautiful area. maple trees just starting to turn colors. we were visiting beloved kyoto for our third and most likely last time. lucky to be able to...

  • Kiyomizu-dera Temple
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    4.0
    32 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.

    Its a steep walk going up the Kiyomizu dera main stage so make sure to have lots of energy. But the view is extremely picturesque especially when it snows

  • Kodai-ji Zen Temple
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    4.5
    1489 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.

    this temple is located in a beautiful part of Higashiyama Ward. It sits atop a slight hill. Kodai-ji is a jewel of Momoyama Period architecture. Getting there: Kodaiji is located in the Higashiyama...

  • Kenninji Temple
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    4.5
    991 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto-shi Higashiyama-ku Yamato Daicho Route Shijo Shimo Le Komatsu Town
    A Rinzai Sect Buddhist temple located in Higashiyama Ward in Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture and the oldest Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto. Erected thanks to funds donated by the Shogun Minamoto no Yoriie in 1202, the temple was founded by the priest Eisai and was modeled after Song China’s holy Mt. Bozhang. The temple is famous for its Image of Raijin and Fujin, a National Treasure created by famed painter Tawaraya Sotatsu, as well as its numerous other sliding screen paintings and treasures designated Important Cultural Properties. The temple is also well known for the beauty of its Japanese gardens, including a dry landscape garden containing a delicate arrangement of white sand, moss, and boulders. The imperial envoy gate contains arrow marks and is built with a gabled roof. The abbot’s chamber, moved here from the Ankoku-ji Temple in old Aki Province, and the Image of Paired Dragons, 108 tatami mats in size and painted on ceiling of the lecture hall in 2002, are both must-sees.

    This temple, supposed to be one of the oldest in Kyoto, turned out to be more than I expected. It has a beautiful karesansui garden with a gate on background and a famous hall with quite recently...

  • Shoren-in Temple
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    4.5
    766 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.

    Shoren-in has a stroll garden you can also view from the temple veranda. One side of the garden has a pond with islands and a miniature stone pagoda in the background, while other only has a...

  • Yasaka Hall Gion Corner
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    3.0
    520 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.

    This was an enjoyable taste of seven Japanese art forms seamlessly interwoven together in under an hour that at times it seems like one event with several sub-plots. The event highlights the tea...

  • Yasui Konpiragu Shrine
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    4.0
    277 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...

  • Yasaka-jinja Shrine (Gion Shrine)
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    3.5
    16 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.

    美容の神様として知られている八坂神社の摂社です。私が訪問した時は祇園社の北側部分で石畳を高圧洗浄機で清掃中で、美御前社前は通行止め状態でした。仕方ないので遠くから写真をとることで我慢しました。

  • Sohonzan Chishakuin Temple
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    4.5
    237 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.

    It is the headquarters of Shingon sect. Chishaku-in is a big temple in Higashiyama area, but strangely there are not many foreign tourists. To enter the premises is free. But if you go there, I...

  • Shogunzuka Seiryu-den Temple
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    4.0
    158 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...

  • Bishamon-do Temple
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    4.5
    125 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Yamashina-ku Anshuinariyamachou 18
    A Tendai Buddhist temple in Yamashina Ward, Kyoto City. The principle object of worship is a figure of Vaisravana, seen as one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, and the temple is believed to provide aid with achieving thriving business and safety and peace in the household. The temple was originally the Izumo-dera Temple, which was founded by the priest Gyoki at the request of Emperor Monmu in 703. After much hardship caused by repeated wars, the temple was eventually rebuilt in Yamashina. The “moving screen paintings” created by Kano Masunobu which decorate the Shinden hall are famous and make skillful use of reverse perspective to make it seem as if the viewer is seeing them on center regardless of the angle. Located at the foot of a hillside overlooking the Yamashina Basin, the temple is a well-known spot in Kyoto for viewing cherry blossoms in spring and fall foliage in autumn.

    This place is not very popular among tourist, unlike Kinkakuji which is known by everybody. And that also the reason I choose to visit this temple. After visit other popular temples crowded with...

  • Jishu-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    179 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

  • Entoku-in Temple
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    4.0
    180 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...

  • Ryozen-Kannon
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    4.0
    155 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.

    Ryozen Kwan-on is a magnificent 24 m high monument of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Godess of Mercy). The monument was erected in 1955 to honor all soldiers who died during World War II. Regardless...

  • Yogen-in Temple
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    4.0
    117 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto Sanjusangendomawari-cho
    A Jodo Shinshu Kengo-in Buddhist temple located in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City. Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s concubine Yodo-dono asked Hideyoshi to build the temple in honor of her deceased father Asai Nagamasa. The temple was destroyed once but restored in 1621, after which the Tokugawa shogunate enshrine a mortuary tablet here honoring successive generations of shogun and the temple became a family cemetery for the Tokugawa clan. The main temple building was a place at Fushimi Castle that was moved here. The “Bloody Ceilings” of the left, right, and main corridors memorialize the great battle that occurred at Fushimi Castle. The temples screen paintings created by Tawaraya Sotatsu are registered Important Cultural Properties and the Image of White Elephants and Image of Lions, painted in a three dimensional style, are must-sees.

    Yogen-in temple is located just at east side of Sanjusangendo temple. It is not very known for tourists, but I found it very interesting. Two things that you cannot miss:bloody ceiling which is...

  • Kyoto Gion Tempura Yasaka Endo
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    4.5
    429 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.

    I have been here numerous times and this is a top choice for me and my family. The chefs are excellent and the food is as well. I think this is a good alternative for a large group. Short wait...

  • Chion-in temple
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    3.5
    7 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Rinkachou 400
    This Buddhist temple in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City is the head temple of the Jodo Pure-land Buddhist Sect. It was founded on the grounds where Pure-land Sect founder Honen built a thatched hut and passed away. After his death the Tokugawa family expanded the grounds and began construction of what would be the large-scale temple. National Treasures of Japan on the ground include the Miedo Hall and the three main gates before the temple while the Karamon gate and the great bellower have been designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan. A definite point to see are the three two-story wooden gates before the temple, which are the largest in Japan. * The Miedo Hall is closed for repair until 2020.

    We walked up here and watched a monk explain the importance of this huge bell to preschoolers. Short 1 Min walk from main complex. Worth it

  • Yasaka Koshindo Temple
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    4.0
    56 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Kinenchou 390
    Inside are colorful “kukuri saru.” Kukuri saru are charms of monkeys with their hands and feet tied, and warn people not to rush towards what they want. If one controls himself against their desire and then prays to the kukuri saru, their wish will be granted. In addition, on the six Koshin days of the year there is “konnyaku dak,” cooked konnyaku (paste made from starch of arum roots). It is said that if one faces north and silently eats three kukuri saru-shaped konnyaku, they will live with sound health.

    We had just visited the Kiyomizu Temple and were walking through the Higashiyama area of Kyoto. I happened to look down an alley to my left and saw many colorful balls, hanging like garlands from a...

  • Komyoin Temple
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    4.5
    69 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Honmachi 15-809
    Komyoin Temple is a sub temple of Tofukuji Temple. Also known as “niji no kokedera” (rainbow moss temple), it is a beautiful temple with thick green moss and white sand blanketing the grounds. In spring there are of course cherry blossoms, and in autumn one can enjoy the changing leaves of Tofuku-ji Temple.

    Stunning little Rock and raked sand Zen garden almost totally overlooked by the tourist buses, landscaped garden behind with a wall of stunning flowering azaleas. Perfect tranquil spot to unwind...

  • Toyokuni-jinja Shrine
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    3.5
    68 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto-shi Higashiyama-ku Yamato-dori-dori Front Chayamachi 530
    This is a Shinto shrine in the Higashiyama district dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Abandoned with the fall of Toyotomi and the orders of the House of Tokugawa, it was nevertheless rebuilt later under the imperial command of Emperor Meiji. The karamon gate, a remnant of Fushimi Castle, represents Momoyama culture and is designated a National Treasure. There are also several Important Cultural Properties on display including Hideyoshi’s six-legged Chinese-style chest stored in the shrine sanctuary.

    Toyokuni Shrine is dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a ruler of Japan in Momoyama Period. Under the reign of Tokugawa family, the shrine was abolished, but after Meiji restoration it was reinstalled...

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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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