Sightseeing Spot


Don't Miss These Places When You Come to Kyoto! Recommended Temples of Kyoto

Don't Miss These Places When You Come to Kyoto! Recommended Temples of Kyoto

One of the charms of Kyoto is that you can enjoy the historical scenery of Japan. When you come to Kyoto for sightseeing, you should visit famous temples and shrines. Here are 6 recommended temples and shrines.  (information as of January 2017)

Kinkakuji Temple

The official name of Kinkakuji Temple is "Rokuonji". The name "Kinkakuji" has become popular because the "Kinkaku," or Golden Pavilion, became so well known. The Kinkaku is a tower building known for its gold-leafed exterior on the second and third floors. It was destroyed by fire in 1950 but was rebuilt to almost its original state in 1955. The garden and other buildings are said to have originally represented the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, a landscape that symbolizes the Kitayama culture of the early Muromachi period.

Worship time:  9:00 - 17:00
Access: Get off at "Kinkakujimichi" bus stop on Kyoto City Bus

Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine is also known as "Gion-san". There is a theory that its origin dates back to 656 or 876, more than 1,400 years ago. The shrine's deities are Susanoo-no-Mikoto, Kushinadahime-no-Mikoto, and Yahashira-no-Mikogami.

In the precincts of the shrine, the god of marriage, the god of protection against plague, and the god of business prosperity are also enshrined. In particular, there is a "beauty water" in front of Bigozensha Shrine, which is known as the god of beauty and is often visited by maiko (apprentice geisha) to protect the health of their skin.

Access: 5 minutes walk from Gion Shijo Station on Keihan Railway.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha is the headquarters of Inari shrines throughout Japan. The shrine is known for its "Senbon Torii" (one thousand Torii gates), a long line of vermilion torii gates, and in recent years has become a very popular spot for both Japanese and foreign tourists. Actually, the number of Torii is not 1,000, but about 10,000 for the whole of Mt. Inari.

The "Omokaru Stone" in Fushimi Inari is also a unique thing. There is a legend that if you make a wish in front of the lantern and lift the stone at the head of the lantern, and if the weight you feel is lighter than expected, your wish will come true, and if it is heavier, it will not.

Access:  A short walk from Inari Station (JR Nara Line)

Kiyomizu Temple

"Kiyomizu Temple" is one of the few temples in Kyoto with a history dating back to before the capital was moved to Heiankyo. The temple was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

In addition to the main hall where the eleven-faced Senju Kannon statue is enshrined, there are many attractions such as Otowa Waterfall, Niomon Gate, Umadome Temple, West Gate, and Mie Tower (3-storied pagoda). The "Kanji (Chinese Character) of the Year",  which is decided at the end of the year, is announced on the Okunoin stage of Kiyomizu Temple every year.

Opening hours:  6:00 - 18:00  (closing times vary depending on the season, there is also a special night viewing period)

Access: 10 minutes walk from Gojozaka bus stop by Kyoto City Bus.

Shimogamo Shrine

The official name is "Kamomioya Shrine". It is said that the shrine was founded as far back as BC. The approach to the shrine runs through the "Tadasu no Mori". After passing it you will see a vermilion-lacquered tower gate, followed by buildings such as the Maiden, Kotosha, and the main shrine. The deities are Kamo Taketsunomi Mikoto and Tamayoribime Mikoto. The former is known as the god of guidance and the god of victory, and the latter is known as the god of marriage and easy childbirth.

Opening hours:  5:30 - 18:00  in summer,  6:30 - 17:00  in winter
Access:  Get off at the "Shimogamo-jinja-mae" bus stop on the Kyoto City Bus

Eikan-do Temple (Zenrin-ji Temple)

Eikando Temple is the fundamental dojo of the Seizan Zenrinji School of the Jodo sect, and its official name is Zenrinji Temple. The main deity of the temple is Amida Nyorai, and many temple treasures, including the national treasure Yamakoshi Amida (Amitabha on Silk), are in the collection or deposited here.  The temple is also famous for its beautiful autumn foliage, so-called "Momiji of Eikando".  From mid-November, when it is in full bloom, you can enjoy the illumination of the autumn leaves.

Visiting time:  9:00 - 17:00  (Reception until  16:00. The time of the autumn temple treasure exhibition period is different)
Access:  3 minutes walk from Nanzenji Eikando-michi bus stop by Kyoto City Bus.

Spending a relaxing time in a historic place will help you forget about your busy daily life. If you are visiting Kyoto, why not visit one of these temples or shrines?

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