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Spots in Ayashiyama / Sagano Area

  • Togetsukyo Bridge
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture Ukyo-ku Arashiyama
    This bridge with a total length of 155 meters spanning the Katsuragawa River offers a vantage point to see the fall foliage of Arashiyama. The bridge is said to have been started by the Jowa-period (834–848) monk Dosho, and the bridge in the current location was built by Suminokura Ryoui in the early Edo period. Togetsukyo Bridge’s name (meaning “the bridge of the passing moon”) is said to have come about when Emperor Kameyama saw a moon move above the bridge and remarked that, “It looks as if the clear moon were walking over the bridge.” The bridge is full of elegance which blends into the landscape of Arashiyama.
  • Ryoanji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Ryouanji Otoritoshita 13
    This Buddhist temple in Ukyo Ward in Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture is famous for its rock garden. A Zen temple, it was founded in 1450 by the statesman Hosokawa Katsumoto. The shrine grew dilapidated due to the anti-Buddhism movement of the early Meiji period but became world-famous after Queen Elizabeth II visited the temple and praised the beauty of the rock garden. The garden, called the Hojo Tei-en, is a traditional flat garden comprised of 15 stones of various sizes placed amongst white gravel which are designed such that one of the stones will not be visible no matter what angle one views the garden from. Highlights of the temple include Japanese camellias admired by the great general Toyotomi Hideyoshi as well as the Zorakuan tea house. The best time to see the water lilies blooming in the temple pond starts from early summer.
  • Toei Kyoto Studio Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Uzumasahigashihachiokachou 10
    A movie theme park located in Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City which makes portions of the Toei Kyoto film studio open to the public. The park offers a variety of events and attractions, including the chance to see how television programs and movies are filmed on a recreated open set, historical dram sword fight and acting shows, a haunted house, and classes on theatrical sword fighting. The park also hosts restaurants and cafes. People of all ages can enjoy an entire day of fun at Toei Kyoto Studio Park. The park’s variety of opportunities to try out movie and TV related costumes are particularly popular, from simple costumes like those worn in historical dramas that can be put on in 15-20 minutes to photography sessions taken by professional photographers.
  • Kegon-ji Temple (Suzumushi-dera Temple)
    265 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Nishikyou-ku Matsumurojikechou 31
    A Rinzai Buddhist temple in Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto City. Some 50 thousand bell crickets are bred on the temple grounds annually, and due to their songs, audible not just in autumn but throughout the year, the temple has come to be known as the Suzumushi-dera (Bell Cricket Temple). In addition to a figure of Dainichi-nyorai (Voirocana), the main object of worship, the temple also enshrines a statue of Jizobosatsu (Kshitigarbha), and the temple attracts Kshitigarbha worshipers from around the nation as well as persons seeking aid with university entry, attaining better fortune, and finding a suitable partner. The temple is famous for its “Happy Kshitigarbha,” the only one in Japan to be depicted wearing straw sandals and said to grant a single wish, as well as its Suzumushi-seppo (Bell Cricket Sermons) given by priests, and the temple actively welcomes worshipers.

    I visited Suzumushi temple on weekend with my university friends. The lecture from chief priest was very interesting and there are many bell crickets. We heard the sound of the bell cricket. It was...

  • Arashiyama
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto City Ukyo-ku Arashiyama
    One of Kyoto’s leading tourist attractions, this 381.5-meter-high mountain and its environs have been designated as a National Historic Place of Beauty. On the mountain are the Iwatayama Monkey Park and Horinji Temple. Widely known as a spot for seeing cherry blossoms and changing autumn leaves, the scenery combining the Katsuragawa River to Togetsukyo Bridge is often used as a motif on picture postcards and pamphlets. Popular activities include walking the “bamboo forest road” from Tenryuji Temple or going around temples or shrines, a railcar ride to Kameoka, of the “Hozugawa-kudari” (Hozugawa river boat ride) pleasure cruise ride down the river to Arashiyama.
  • Tenryu-ji Temple
    1727 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Sagatenryujisusukinobabachou 68
    The head temple of Rinzai Tenryuji Buddhsim. The temple is one of the foremost sightseeing locations in the Saga Arashiyama area. The temple was founded in 1339 by Ashikaga Takauji to memorialize Emperor Go-Daigo. The temple was founded as the first of the five Kyoto Gozan premier temples and the spacious grounds encompassed over 150 sub-temples, but these were all lost in a series of later fires. The various temple buildings standing today were reconstructed in the Meiji period; the abbot’s chamber enshrines a seated figure of Gautama Buddha created in the Fujiwara period. The temple’s circular garden, built around a central pond, is a designated Historic Site and Special Place of Scenic Beauty and makes use of Mt. Arashiyama and Mt. Kameyama in the background. The garden looks the same as it did approximately 700 years ago when it was first created by Muso Kokushi.

    The place is very pretty with all the autumn leave. Same with everywhere is Kyoto, it is packed with visitors.

  • Aeon Mall (Kyoto Gojo)
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Sainoiwakechou 25-1
    This shopping mall is in Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. It has about 130 shops as well as a walking course called Aeon Mall Walking that records how many calories you've burned. A paid shuttle bus runs there from Saiin Station on the Hankyu Railway Kyoto Line / Keifuku Electric Railroad Arashiyama Main Line.
  • Kurumazaki-jinja Shrine
    97 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Sagasahichou 23
    A Shinto shrine located in the Saga area of Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City dedicated to Kiyohara no Yorinari, a Confucian scholar who lived in the late Heian period. Kiyohara no Yorinari is seen as a god of luck with money, prosperous business, luck in finding marriage, and the warding away of evil. The shrine has a custom whereby visitors can purchase a stone from the shrine office and make a wish; the shrine piles the stones of successful wish-makers in front of the main shrine. The grounds also contain a shrine dedicated to Ame no Uzume, the goddess of performing arts, which is famous for the many performers and entertainers who come to visit it. On the third Sunday of May, the shrine holds the Three Boats Festival on the Oi River on Mt. Arashi, an event which recreates the boating the nobility would engage in during the Heian period.

    I had chance to visit this shrine during Mantosai Festival (middle of Audust), and lanterns were really beautiful. You can also buy it for 500 yen and hang it by yourself.

  • Ninna-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Omuroouchi 33
    This temple built in 888 by Emperor Uda is also known as Omuro Gosho. It is a World Heritage site and head temple of the Omuro sect of Shingon Buddhism, with a number of Important Cultural Properties on the expansive grounds including the National Treasure main building, five-storied pagoda, Goei-do building and Deva gate. The late blooming “Omuro Sakura” cherry blossom are best seen from mid to late April, and in autumn one can enjoy the beautiful and symbolic Kyoto sight of red and yellow leaves covering the road up to the main temple.
  • Daihonzan Myoshin-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Hanazonomyoushinjichou 64
    The head temple of the roughly 3,400 Rinzai Myoshin Buddhist temples nationwide, located in Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City. The temple, once an imperial villa, was opened as a Zen temple in 1337 per the wishes of Emperor Hanazono. Thereafter, the temple prospered under the cordial worship of daimyos from the Toyotomi and Tokugawa clans. The temple is also veritably surrounded by 46 sub temples such as the lecture hall as well as the triple temple gate and sanctum, Important Cultural Properties. The temple bell, National Treasure, is the oldest bell in Japan to be inscribed with date it was crafted. The temple also houses numerous treasures and the Image of a Dragon and Clouds by Kano Tan’yu on the ceiling of the lecture hall is a must-see.
  • Daikakuji temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Sagaosawachou 4
    Located in the Saga area of Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City, this is the head temple of the Shingon Daikaku-ji school of Buddhism. The temple’s principle object of worship is five figures of the great wisdom kings centering around Acala. The temple was founded by Emperor Saga. A former villa that belonged to Emperor Saga which was renovated into a temple, the grounds contain many imperial buildings that were moved here. The strikingly beautiful screen paintings in the Botan-no-Ma and Kobai-no-Ma rooms in the Shinden hall (an Important Cultural Property) were painted by Kano Sanraku. The temple is also located near Uzumasa, where many historical dramas are filmed, and the temple grounds themselves are also frequently used to shoot historical and other varieties of drama programs. As the birthplace of flower arrangement, the temple is also famous for being the head temple of the Saga Goryu school of flower arrangement.
  • Matsunoo Taisha
    140 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Nishikyou-ku Arashiyamamiyamachi 3
    The oldest Shinto shrine in Kyoto and located in Nishikyo Ward. Seated at the foot of Mt. Matsuo, the shrine’s object of worship, the distinctive Muromachi period (1333–1568) architecture of the main shrine building is a nationally designated Important Cultural Property. The mountain is seen as the god of sake and has attracted followers accordingly since the Middle Ages; the shrine’s mikoshi hall is stacked high with sake barrels. The waters of the shrine’s Kame-no-I (Turtle Well) are also famed for giving health, long life, and revitalization, and sake brewers, producers, and salespeople from around the country still come here to bring some of the water home with them.

    At around 10:30 AM, I received a same day admission for Katsura Rikyu for 1:30 PM. Since there are no places to visit in walking distance, I decided to visit Matsuo shrine, which was recommended by...

  • Oharano-jinja Shrine
    22 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Nishikyou-ku Oharanominamikasugachou 1152
    A Shinto shrine located in Oharano, Nishikyo Ward founded in 784 by Empress Consort Fujiwara no Otomuro, originally of the Fujiwara clan, in Nagaoka-kyo to enshrine the patron gods of the Kasuga-taisha in Nara. The main shrine building standing today was constructed in 850, as were the Kasuga-zukuri style inner shrine and Koisawano-ike Pond modeled after Sarusawa-ike Pond. Today, the shrine is a widely renowned site for viewing fall foliage, with the approximately 200 meter long approach to the shrine becoming a deep red tunnel bustling with visitors during the season.

    A peaceful Shinto Shrine located towards the south west corner of Kyoto city. This is also popular for the "Sengan-zakura", a famous cherry tree which is well-known for its spectacular autumn...

  • Nonomiya-jinja Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Saganonomiyachou 1
    A Shinto shrine located in the Sagano area of Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City. The shrine is dedicated to gods of scholarship, love, children, and easy childbirth, and is particularly renowned for aiding in finding marriage. The shrine was the setting of the Sakaki chapter of the famed Tale of Genji and is also the subject of the classic Noh song Nonomiya; the grounds contain numerous informational signs noting key points mentioned in these works. It is said that if one rubs the Kame-ishi (Tortoise Stone) next to the shrine dedicated to the marriage god Nonomiya Daikokuten, one’s wish will be granted within the year, and many visitors come to this popular Kyoto “power spot.”
  • Yoshimine-dera Temple
    107 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Nishikyou-ku Oharanoshiochou 1372
    A Buddhist temple located in the Oharano area of Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto City. The temple was founded in 1029 by the priest Gensan. The temple is connected to the fifth Tokugawa shogun Tsunayoshi’s mother Keishoin; the hanging bell tower was donated by her to ward evil away from Tsunayoshi. The grounds, located halfway up a mountain, are some 99 thousand square meters in size. Visitors can enjoy some of Kyoto’s greatest views of the city and Mt. Hiei while strolling the grounds, as well as seasonal flowers and plants. In spring, the temple boasts weeping, mountain, and Somei-yoshino cherry blossoms which dye the grounds pink. One weeping cherry on the ground is over 300 years old and is said to have been planted by Keishoin.

    Beautiful temple off the beaten track. Much less people than the other temples. Takes a train ride + 30-min bus ride but it’s totally worth the trip. If you are taking the bus, take note that the...

  • Giouji Temple
    354 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Sagatorimotokozakachou 32
    A Shingon Daikaku-ji Buddhist temple located in Ukyo Ward in Kyoto City. Known as the “Covenant of Blighted Love,” it even appears in the ancient epic, The Tale of the Heike. Legend has it that Gio, a dancing girl who lost the love of military leader Taira no Kiyomori to a woman named Hotoke-gozen, joined this temple as a nun together with her mother and younger sister. Thereafter, Hotoke-gozen was also welcomed into the temple, and the four quietly spent their remaining years here. The Soan, a thatched hut, houses the temple’s principle object of worship, a figure of Vairocana, as well as wooden figures of Taira no Kiyomori, Gio, her younger sister Ginyo, her mother Toji, and Hotoke-gozen. The Hokyoin-to is said to mark the graves of Gio and Ginyo. The Yoshino Window in an anteroom of the Soan is famous for casting a rainbow colored image.

    This is around 20 minutes on foot from the Bamboo walk. Not as visited as many other sites this is a lovely secluded haven. It is known for its moss garden and the vista is very intimate and...

  • Koryuji Temple
    155 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Uzumasahachiokachou 32
    This temple was built in 603 by Hata no Kawakatsu, with its main object of worship being a statue of Buddha received from Shotoku Taishi. As the oldest temple in Kyoto, it also possesses a number of National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. Among these, the most famous is the Seated Maitreya statue said to be the most beautiful in all of Japan. It is a Buddhist statue of the Asuka period and is distinctive for its calm countenance and “archaic smile.” October’s “Ushi Matsuri” is one of Kyoto’s three big unusual festivals.

    Just visited the place, because we as a family lived two minutes from here. Pretty decent temple, visit if you are buddhist. Or go for the bigger temple inside Kyoto central :)

  • Jojakko-ji Temple
    247 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Sagaogurayamaogurachou 3
    A temple in Sagano, Kyoto City located midway up Mt. Ogurayama which was featured in the Hyakunin Isshu collection of poetry. The temple was founded in 1596 by monk Nisshin, the head priest of Honkoku-ji Temple, the head temple of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism. The main hall is a former part of Fushimi Castle that was reconstructed on site. The gate flanked by carvings known as Unkei statues of the two Deva Kings was the former south gate of the reception hall at Honkoku-ji Temple which was moved to this location. The temple grounds which spread across Mt. Ogurayama are known for beautiful autumn colors, especially around the two-story cypress thatched pagoda. The temple offers an amazing view over the Kyoto cityscape.

    Jojakko-ji Temple Precincts, as they style themselves, is a sight well worth seeing in Arashiyama. I was extremely impressed and well exercised too, as this temple is built on a steep hillside. It...

  • Rakushisha
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Sagaogurayamahinomyoujinchou 20
    This is a hermitage of the Genroku period (1688–1704) haiku poet and student of Matsuo Basho, Mukai Kyorai. Kyorai moved into this hut when he was around the age of 35, and it came to be called Rakushisha (the “Hut of Fallen Persimmons”) from around the time he was aged 39. The name comes from the fact that the fruit of 40 persimmon trees in the garden fell down in one night after a storm. Basho wrote his diary “Saga Nikki” here. At the entrance to the thatched hut is an old rain suit and conical hat that belonged to the hut’s owner, and also a box for haiku submissions.
  • Nison-in Temple
    125 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Saganisoninmonzenchoujinchou 27
    A Tendai Buddhist temple located in the Sagano area of Ukyo Ward in Kyoto City. The temple is called the Nison-in, meaning “Hall of Two Buddhas,” because its principle objects of worship are two standing figures of Gautama Buddha and Amitabha. The temple is said to have been founded by the priest Ennin at the behest of Emperor Saga during the early Heian period. In addition to the main temple nave, the grounds are dotted with the graves of court nobles and distinguished families. Famed for its autumn foliage, the temple is visited by numerous worshipers each year in fall. The temple path extending from the main gate, once the Yakuimon gate at Fushimi Castle that was moved here, is nicknamed the “Autumn Foliage Horse Riding Grounds” on account of the beauty of the scenery during the season.

    This temple is a short distance from the Bamboo Forest at Arashiyama Park on the way to the Gion-in and Daikaku-ji Temples. The approach walk is flanked with beautiful Japanese maples that...

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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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