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Top Choice Temple in Kyoto

Enryaku-ji

Located atop 848m-high Hiei-zan (the mountain that dominates the skyline in the northeast of the city), the Enryaku-ji complex is an entire world of temples and dark forests that feels a long way from the hustle and…
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 Shinto Shrine in Kyoto Station & South Kyoto

Fushimi Inari-Taisha

With seemingly endless arcades of vermilion torii (shrine gates) spread across a thickly wooded mountain, this vast shrine complex is a world unto its own. It is, quite simply, one of the most impressive and memorab…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Imperial Palace & Around

Daitoku-ji

For anyone with the slightest fondness for Japanese gardens, don't miss this network of lanes dotted with atmospheric Zen temples. Daitoku-ji is the main temple here and serves as headquarters for the Rinzai Daitoku…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Kyoto Station & South Kyoto

Tōfuku-ji

Home to a spectacular garden, several superb structures and beautiful precincts, Tōfuku-ji is one of the best temples in Kyoto. It's well worth a visit and can easily be paired with a trip to Fushimi Inari-Taisha (t…
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 Arashiyama & Sagano

Saihō-ji

Saihō-ji, one of Kyoto's best-known gardens, is famed for its superb moss garden, hence the temple's nickname: Koke-dera (Moss Temple). The heart-shaped garden, laid out in 1339 by Musō Kokushi, surrounds a tranquil…
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 Castle in Downtown Kyoto

Nijō-jō

The military might of Japan's great warlord generals, the Tokugawa shoguns, is amply demonstrated by the imposing stone walls and ramparts of their great castle, Nijō-jō, which dominates a large part of Northwest Ky…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Northern Higashiyama

Eikan-dō

Perhaps Kyoto’s most famous (and most crowded) autumn-foliage destination, Eikan-dō is a superb temple just a short walk south of the famous Path of Philosophy. Eikan-dō is made interesting by its varied architectur…