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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 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 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 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 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 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 Imperial Palace & Around

Daitoku-ji

Daitoku-ji is a separate world within Kyoto – a world of Zen temples, perfectly raked gardens and wandering lanes. It's one of the most rewarding destinations in this part of the city, particularly for those with an…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Northern Higashiyama

Ginkaku-ji

Home to a sumptuous garden and elegant structures, Ginkaku-ji is one of Kyoto's premier sites. The temple started its life in 1482 as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, who desired a place to retreat …
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Arashiyama & Sagano

Tenryū-ji

A major temple of the Rinzai school, Tenryū-ji has one of the most attractive gardens in all of Kyoto, particularly during the spring cherry-blossom and autumn-foliage seasons. The main 14th-century Zen garden, with…