Northwest Kyoto

This pleasant temple complex is certainly a good counterpoint to the crowded and more famous temples nearby. Originally containing more than 60 structures, Ninna-ji was built in 888 and is the head temple of the Omuro branch of the Shingon school. The present temple buildings, including a five-storey pagoda, date from the 17th century.

On the extensive grounds you’ll find a peculiar grove of short-trunked, multi-petalled cherry trees called Omuro-no-Sakura, which draw large crowds in April. A separate fee (¥500) is charged to enter during blooming season.

Separate admission fees (an additional ¥500 each) are charged for both the Kondō (Main Hall) and Reihōkan (Treasure House), which are only open April to May and October to November.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northwest Kyoto attractions

1. Ryōan-ji

0.36 MILES

You’ve probably seen a picture of the rock garden here – it’s one of the symbols of Kyoto and one of Japan’s better-known sights. Ryōan-ji belongs to the…

2. Myōshin-ji

0.64 MILES

Myōshin-ji is a separate world within Kyoto, a walled-off complex of temples and subtemples that invites lazy strolling. The subtemple of Taizō-in here…

3. Taizō-in

0.75 MILES

This subtemple is in the southwestern corner of the grounds of Myōshin-ji. The kare-sansui (dry landscape) depicting a waterfall and islands is well worth…

4. Tōei Studio Park

1.06 MILES

In the Uzumasa area, Tōei Studio Park is a rather touristy affair. It does, however, have some re-creations of Edo-period street scenes that give a decent…

5. Kinkaku-ji

1.08 MILES

Kyoto's famed 'Golden Pavilion', Kinkaku-ji is one of Japan's best-known sights. The main hall, covered in brilliant gold leaf, shining above its…

6. Kōryū-ji

1.16 MILES

Kōryū-ji, one of the oldest temples in Japan, was founded in 622 to honour Prince Shōtoku, who was an enthusiastic promoter of Buddhism. It’s notable…

7. Kitano Tenman-gū

1.21 MILES

The most atmospheric Shintō shrine in northwest Kyoto, Kitano Tenman-gū is also the site of Tenjin-San Market, one of Kyoto’s most popular flea markets…

8. Orinasu-kan

1.78 MILES

This atmospheric, and usually quiet, museum, housed in a Nishijin weaving factory, has impressive exhibits of Nishijin textiles.