Attractions

Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Southern Higashiyama

Kiyomizu-dera

A buzzing hive of activity perched on a hill overlooking the basin of Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera is one of Kyoto's most popular and most enjoyable temples. It may not be a tranquil refuge, but it represents the favoured e…
Top Choice Area in Southern Higashiyama

Gion

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 visitors to the nearby shrine Yasaka-jinja, by the mid-18th cen…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Southern Higashiyama

Chion-in

A collection of soaring buildings and spacious courtyards, Chion-in serves as the headquarters of the Jōdo sect, the largest school of Buddhism in Japan. It's the most popular pilgrimage temple in Kyoto and it's alw…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Southern Higashiyama

Shōren-in

This temple is hard to miss, with its giant camphor trees growing just outside the walls. Fortunately, most tourists march right on past, heading to the area's more famous temples. That is their loss, because this i…
Buddhist Temple in Southern Higashiyama

Sanjūsangen-dō Temple

This superb temple’s name refers to the 33 sanjūsan (bays) between the pillars of this long, narrow edifice. The building houses 1001 wooden statues of Kannon (the Buddhist goddess of mercy); the chief image, the 10…
Shinto Shrine in Southern Higashiyama

Yasaka-jinja

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 while exploring Southern Higashiyama; it can easily be paired…
Park in Southern Higashiyama

Maruyama-kōen

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, ponds, souvenir shops and restaurants. Peaceful paths meand…
Shinto Shrine in Southern Higashiyama

Yasui Konpira-gū

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/enmusubi ishi. Resembling some kind of shaggy igloo, this is a ston…
Buddhist Temple in Southern Higashiyama

Kōdai-ji

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 Kobori Enshū, and tea…
Museum in Southern Higashiyama

Kyoto National Museum

The Kyoto National Museum is the city's premier art museum and plays host to the highest-level exhibitions in the city. It was founded in 1895 as an imperial repository for art and treasures from local temples and s…