Northern Higashiyama

It might be best known for its autumn maple leaves, but this small temple is well worth a visit any time of the year. It has two stunning gardens – the first is an incredible kare-sansui garden called Honryu-tei (Dragon Garden) and as you pass through the gate you'll come to the second, a very pretty stroll garden. Take your time wandering around; there's a pond, a small bamboo forest and breathtaking views from the small hill behind the temple.

Pair it with a visit to nearby Shisen-dō.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Higashiyama attractions

1. Shisen-dō


A highlight of the far northern Higashiyama area, Shisen-dō (House of Poet-Hermits) was built in 1641 by Ishikawa Jōzan, a scholar of Chinese classics and…

2. Manshu-in

0.39 MILES

The charmingly intimate temple of Manshu-in, which served as a retreat for former emperors, is a great place to escape the crowds that descend on other…

3. Shūgaku-in Rikyū Imperial Villa

0.78 MILES

One of the highlights of northeast Kyoto, this superb imperial villa was designed as a lavish summer retreat for the imperial family. Its gardens, with…

4. Takara-ga-ike-kōen

1.14 MILES

This expansive park is an excellent place for a stroll or picnic in natural surroundings. Far from the throngs in the city centre, it is a popular place…

5. Ginkaku-ji

1.26 MILES

Home to a sumptuous garden and elegant structures, Ginkaku-ji is one of Kyoto's premier sites. The temple started its life in 1482 as a retirement villa…

7. Hōnen-in

1.44 MILES

Founded in 1680 to honour the priest Hōnen, this is a lovely, secluded temple with carefully raked gardens set back in the woods. The temple buildings…

8. Shimogamo-jinja

1.44 MILES

This shrine, dating from the 8th century, is a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is nestled in the fork of the Kamo-gawa and Takano-gawa, and is approached…