Southern Higashiyama

This exquisite temple was founded in 1605 by Kita-no-Mandokoro in memory of her late husband, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The extensive grounds include gardens designed by the famed landscape architect Enshū Kobori, and teahouses designed by the renowned master of the tea ceremony, Sen no Rikyū. The ticket also allows entry to the small Sho museum across the road from the entrance to Kōdai-ji.

You can purchase a combination ticket for entrance to the lovely Entoku-in temple across the road, too (¥900). Kōdai-ji holds three annual special night-time illuminations, when the gardens are lit by multicoloured spotlights. The illuminations are held from mid-March to early May, 1 to 18 August, and late October to early December.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southern Higashiyama attractions

1. Gion

0.03 MILES

Gion is the famous entertainment and geisha quarter on the eastern bank of the Kamo-gawa. While Gion’s true origins were in teahouses catering to weary…

2. Entoku-in

0.09 MILES

This subtemple of Kōdai-ji has a lovely Zen garden and is a pleasant retreat from the busy touristy surrounds. You can buy a combo ticket with Kōdai-ji…

3. Higashi-Ōtani


This is one of the largest Buddhist graveyards in Kyoto. It's an atmospheric (if spooky) place for a walk.

4. Ninen-zaka & Sannen-zaka Area

0.19 MILES

Just downhill from and slightly to the north of Kiyomizu-dera, you will find one of Kyoto’s loveliest restored neighbourhoods, the Ninen-zaka–Sannen-zaka…

5. Maruyama-kōen

0.21 MILES

Maruyama-kōen is a favourite of locals and visitors alike. This park is the place to come to escape the bustle of the city centre and amble around gardens…

6. Yasaka-jinja

0.25 MILES

This colourful and spacious shrine is considered the guardian shrine of the Gion entertainment district. It's a bustling place that is well worth a visit…

7. Yasui Konpira-gū

0.31 MILES

This interesting little Shintō shrine on the edge of Gion contains one of the most peculiar objects we've encountered anywhere in Japan: the enkiri…

8. Chion-in

0.39 MILES

A collection of soaring buildings, spacious courtyards and gardens, Chion-in serves as the headquarters of the Jōdo sect, the largest school of Buddhism…