Lonely Planet review for Teramachi District
This hilly neighbourhood across Sai-gawa, southwest of the centre, was established as a first line of defence and contains dozens of temples. Myōryū-ji is a five-minute walk from the river. Completed in 1643, it was designed as a hideout in case of attack, and contains hidden stairways, escape routes, secret chambers, concealed tunnels and trick doors. The popular name refers to the temple's connection with ninja. Admission is by tour only – it's in Japanese but visual enough. Take Minami Ō-dōri across the river, take a left at the first major intersection, then the first right.
Nearby, Kutani Kosen Gama Kiln is a must for pottery lovers. Short tours give a glimpse of the process and the history of this fine craft. Try decorating porcelain yourself from ¥1050.