Northern Higashiyama

One of Kyoto’s more popular sights, this shrine was built in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the founding of the city. The shrine buildings are colourful replicas, reduced to a two-thirds scale, of the Imperial Court Palace of the Heian period (794–1185). About 500m in front of the shrine is a massive steel torii. Although it appears to be entirely separate, this is actually considered the main entrance to the shrine itself.

The vast garden (adult/child ¥600/300; open 8.30am to 4.30pm) behind the shrine, is a fine place for a wander and particularly lovely during the cherry-blossom season. With its large pond, water lilies and Chinese-inspired bridge, the garden is a tribute to the style that was popular in the Heian period. It is well known for its wisteria, irises and beni-shidare-zakura (red weeping cherry blossoms).

One of Kyoto’s biggest festivals, the Jidai Matsuri, is held here on 22 October. On 2 and 3 June, Takigi nō is also held here. Takigi nō is a picturesque form of (stylised dance-drama performed on a bare stage) staged in the light of blazing fires. Tickets cost ¥3000 if you pay in advance (ask at the Kyoto Tourist Information Center for the location of ticket agencies) or you can pay ¥4000 at the entrance gate.

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Nearby Northern Higashiyama attractions

1. Okazaki-kōen Area

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Okazaki-kōen is an expanse of parks and canals that lies between Niōmon-dōri and Heian-jingū. Two of Kyoto’s significant museums can be found here – the…

3. Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art

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This fine museum holds several major exhibitions a year, as well as a variety of free shows. It’s always worth stopping by to see if something is on while…

4. National Museum of Modern Art

0.22 MILES

This museum is renowned for its Japanese ceramics and paintings. There is an outstanding permanent collection, which includes many pottery pieces by Kawai…

5. Murin-an

0.38 MILES

Often overlooked by the hordes that descend on the Higashiyama area, this elegant villa was the home of prominent statesman Yamagata Aritomo (1838–1922)…

6. Okazaki-jinja

0.39 MILES

Okazaki-jinja is a quaint local shrine located at the far eastern end of Marutamachi-dōri. The rabbit is the spirit animal here and people come to this…

7. Kurodani Temple

0.44 MILES

Also known as Konkai Kōmyō-ji, this temple in the Northern Higashiyama district is a favourite of locals for morning and evening strolls. It's got some…

8. Kurodani Pagoda

0.49 MILES

This pagoda, which stands above the temple of Kurodani, offers one of the best views over the city. You cannot enter the pagoda itself, but you can climb…