Summary of Recommended Tourist Attractions in Eastern Area.

This article summarizes the main tourist attractions in Eastern Area(sakyo Ward) in Kyoto City.
In this area, you can find world-famous Ginkaku-ji (the Silver Pavilion) and magnificent natural landscapes that allow you to experience the changing seasons, making it a perfect place for Instagram-worthy photos.
Be sure to check out this article and consider a trip to Kyoto.

Higashiyama Jishoji Temple(Ginkakuji or Silver Pavilion)

The Silver Pavilion, along with the Golden Pavilion, is one of the most renowned temple complexes in Kyoto, Japan.
Although it is called the “Silver Pavilion,” it does not have silver leaf covering it.

The Silver Pavilion was founded by the 8th shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate, Ashikaga Yoshimasa.
Yoshimasa had no interest in politics and was solely devoted to culture.
The culmination of his endeavors can be seen in the creation of the Silver Pavilion.

The construction of the Silver Pavilion began in 1482, and it originally served as a villa.

Here, Ashikaga Yoshimasa dedicated himself to the arts, particularly the Way of Tea (茶道, sadō) and Ikebana (flower arranging).
Following Yoshimasa’s passing, it was converted into a Zen temple according to his will.


  • Address: 2 Ginkakuji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: Take a Kyoto City bus to Ginkakuji-mae Bus Stop, then a 5-minute walk
  • Closed on: Open year-round
  • Visiting Hours:
    • [March to November] 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (Last admission at 5:00 PM, temple grounds close at 5:20 PM)
    • [December to February] 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM (Last admission at 4:30 PM, temple grounds close at 4:50 PM)
  • Admission Fees:
    • Adults (High school age and above): 500 yen
    • Children (Elementary and middle school students): 300 yen
    • Children under elementary school age: Free
  • Official Website: Silver Pavilion

Nanzenji Temple

Nanzen-ji is the head temple of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism.

The most crowded spot for tourists is probably the Nanzen-ji’s Suirokaku Aqueduct.
Modeled after ancient Roman aqueducts, it features an elegant brick design.
This aqueduct was originally constructed to transport water from Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture and has become one of Kyoto’s iconic landscapes.

It’s also a well-known tourist destination that has been featured in various dramas and anime series.
I visited Nanzenji Temple in the height of summer and found the area around the Suirokaku Aqueduct surprisingly cool, likely due to the presence of water despite the scorching heat.

It served as the perfect resting spot during my leisurely stroll, providing a refreshing break from the hot weather.


  • Address: Fukuchicho, Nanzenji, Sakyoku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • Approximately 10 minutes on foot from Keage Station on the Tozai Subway Line
    • about a 10-minute walk from the Kyoto City Bus stops “Higashitengaimachi” or “Nanzenji Eikando-michi.”
  • Phone: 075-771-0365
  • Closed: December 28th to 31st
  • Visiting Hours: 8:40 AM to 5:00 PM
    • from December 1st to the end of February, it closes at 4:30 PM)
    • *Admission is accepted up to 20 minutes before closing.
  • Admission Fees:
    • [Hojo Garden]
      • Adults: 600 yen
      • High school students: 500 yen
      • Middle and elementary school students: 400 yen
    • [Sanmon (Main Gate)]
      • Adults: 600 yen
      • High school students: 500 yen
      • Middle and elementary school students: 400 yen
    • [Nanzenin]
      • Adults: 400 yen
      • High school students: 350 yen
      • Middle and elementary school students: 250 yen
      • *Nighttime admission: 600 yen for adults, 300 yen for middle and elementary school students
  • Official Website: Nanzenji Temple

Heian-jingū Shrine

In Kyoto’s Sakyo ward, there is the Heian Shrine, which was established to commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of the transfer of the capital to Heian-kyo (Kyoto) and enshrine Emperor Kanmu.
At the time of its founding, Kyoto was in a state of decline due to the end of the Edo period and the influence of moving the capital to Tokyo.
As part of an effort to revitalize and evoke the nostalgia of old Kyoto, Heian Shrine was built.

The shrine boasts a vast garden where a variety of flowers bloom throughout the four seasons.
Particularly in spring, it’s well-known for having over 20 different types of cherry blossoms, including the “yaebeni shidare sakura,” which attract numerous visitors.

The shrine’s main hall is a 5/8th scale reconstruction of the original imperial palace from the time of Emperor Kanmu.
Interestingly, during its initial construction, there were some difficulties in acquiring the land, resulting in a slight shift in the placement of the Suzakumon gate.

The panoramic view of Heian Shrine, which replicates the former imperial palace of Heian-kyo, is truly worth seeing. When you visit Kyoto, be sure to include this on your itinerary.


  • Address: 97 Okazaki Nishitennocho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • Approximately 5 minutes on foot from City Bus Routes 5, and Kyoto Bus Routes 100, 110, at the “Okazaki Koen Bijutsukan/Heian Jingu-mae” bus stop.
    • Approximately 10 minutes on foot from the Tozai subway line “Higashiyama” station.
  • Phone: 075-761-0221
  • Closed on: Open all year round
  • Visiting Hours:
    • Shrine Grounds: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
      • from November to February 14, closing at 5:00 PM
      • from February 15 to March 14 and in October, closing at 5:30 PM
    • Shin’en (Gardens): 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM
      • from March 15 to September 30, closing at 6:00 PM
      • from November 1 to the end of February, closing at 5:00 PM
  • Admission: Free (Shin’en Gardens: Adults 600 yen, Children 300 yen)
  • Official Website: Heian-jingū Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine (Kamo Mioya Shrine) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This shrine enshrines the deities Kamo no Agatamakoto-ohmi no Mikoto and Kamo no Tamanokami no Mikoto.

Among the shrines in Kyoto, Shimogamo Shrine is especially noteworthy for having a large number of its structures designated as Important Cultural Properties.
While only the East and West main halls are registered as National Treasures, nearly all of its other buildings are recognized as Important Cultural Properties by the Japanese government.

The shrine hosts various rituals and ceremonies, with the Aoi Matsuri being particularly famous. During the Heian period, it was considered one of the most representative festivals in the country.
Visiting the shrine for these events can provide a wonderful experience.
Shimogamo Shrine has deep connections with the imperial family and has been receiving reverence from the court since the Nara period.
Its ties with the imperial family grew even stronger after Emperor Kanmu’s relocation of the capital to Heian-kyo (Kyoto).


  • Address: 59 Shimogamo Izumigawa-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • 25 minutes by bus from Kyoto Station
    • 12 minutes on foot from Demachiyanagi Station
  • Phone Number: 075-781-0010
  • Visiting Hours:
    • Summer Hours: 5:30 AM – 6:00 PM
    • Winter Hours: 6:30 AM – 5:00 PM
    • The Great Hall and Kamonagaminyojo-an can be visited from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Official Website: Shimogamo Shrine

Tadasu-no-Mori Forest

This is the forest within the precincts that extends from Shimogamo Shrine to Kawai Shrine.
No matter where you look, it is enveloped in beautiful greenery, creating a serene and divine atmosphere with an abundance of negative ions.

The reason for its divine atmosphere is attributed to the fact that it is surrounded by trees that have been living since the Jomon period.
It is filled with various trees, primarily zelkova, hackberry, and muku trees, which have been thriving for centuries.

It’s evident to the general observer that this place is remarkable, but from the perspectives of forest ecology and environmental science, it is highly significant. In fact, it has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


  • Address: 59 Shimogamo Izumigawa-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • From JR Kyoto Station with Transfer at Demachiyanagi Station
      • Transfer from Kyoto Station to JR Nara Line: Kyoto Station to Higashifushimi Station
      • Transfer (Take the Keihan Line towards Demachiyanagi) to Keihan Higashifushimi Station to Demachiyanagi Station
      • A 12-minute walk to Shimogamo Shrine
  • Phone Number: 075-781-0010
  • Opening Hours:
    • March 1st to May 15th, August 16th to September 30th: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    • May 16th to August 15th: 5:30 AM – 6:00 PM
    • October 1st to October 15th: 6:00 AM – 5:30 PM
    • October 16th to December 31st: 6:30 AM – 5:00 PM
    • January 1st to February End: 6:30 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
  • Official Website: Kizugawa Forest

Kifune Shrine

In Kyoto’s Sakyo Ward, you can find Kifune Temple, which serves as the head temple for approximately 450 shrines across the country.

Kifune Temple, dedicated to the water deity, Takarai-no-Mikoto, is known for its numerous water-related structures.
While there’s no precise founding date, the shrine’s history can be traced back over 1,300 years, and it’s believed to have existed even before that.

Kifune Temple is associated with various blessings, including connections, prosperity, and the fulfillment of wishes.
It’s particularly famous for an event where Emperor Saga prayed for rain.
It features prominently in numerous literary works, including those by Izumi Shikibu and in Haiku from the Shin Kokin Wakashu.
Furthermore, it’s gained popularity as a shrine for love and relationships, and women frequently visit seeking romantic fulfillment.

Kifune Temple hosts limited-time illumination events, during which the shrine’s surroundings are stylishly transformed, making it highly recommended for a visit.


  • Address: 180 Kurama Kifunemachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • Approximately 20 minutes by bus from Kyoto International Conference Center Station
    • About 30 minutes on foot from Eizan Electric Railway Kurama Line Kifuneguchi Station
    • Transfer to Kyoto Bus Route 33 at Eizan Electric Railway Kifuneguchi Station and alight at Kifune Station, located right there
  • Phone Number: 075-741-2016
  • Visiting Hours:
    • Main Shrine Opening Hours: 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM (May 1st – November 30th), 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM (December 1st – April 30th)
    • Reception Hours for Shrine Goods: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (for services like water fortune telling, amulets, and seal stamps)
    • “Kifune Momiji Toro” Illumination Period lasts until 8:30 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free, Goshuin (temple seal stamp) costs 300 yen
  • Official Website: Kifune Shrine


The name “Shisendo” originally comes from the retirement villa built by Ishikawa Jozan, who was originally a retainer of the Tokugawa family.
The name “Shisendo” is derived from the “Shisen” room, which features portraits of 36 Chinese poets.

Ishikawa Jozan was a master of garden design, and in the meticulously planned gardens, you can enjoy the changing seasons of Kyoto’s landscapes.
Especially during the autumn foliage season, you can witness a magnificent spectacle.

As you gaze at the garden, you may hear a particular sound – the “shishiodoshi.”
Shisendo is known as the birthplace of the shishiodoshi, and as you admire the gardens and autumn foliage, the soothing sound of the shishiodoshi resonates pleasantly in your ears.


  • Address: 27 Ichijoji Monzencho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: 7 minutes on foot to the east from Ichijoji Sagarimatsucho Bus Stop
  • Closed on: May 23 (Jozan-ki Memorial Day – General admission is suspended)
  • Phone Number: 075-781-2954
  • Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Last entry at 4:45 PM)
  • Admission Fees:
    • Adults 500 yen
    • High School Students 400 yen
    • Elementary/Middle School Students 200 yen
  • Official Website: Shisendo


Enko-ji is a temple of the Rinzai Zen Nanzen-ji school, founded by Tokugawa Ieyasu.
It’s situated in close proximity to quintessential Kyoto tourist spots, making it a must-visit attraction.

The temple boasts a beautiful garden known as the “Ten Bulls Garden,” with around 200 maple trees that create a particularly stunning scene during the autumn foliage season.

Furthermore, within the Ten Bulls Garden, you’ll find the Susurinchi, said to be the oldest pond in northern Kyoto.
The reflection of autumn leaves on the pond’s surface adds an extra layer of charm, making it a truly delightful sight.

The top recommendation is to admire the garden from the main hall. The pillars serve as if they were framing the garden, creating a sensation akin to gazing at a painting of the garden.


  • Address: 13 Ichijoji Kotanimachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • Approximately 15 minutes on foot to the east from Ichijoji Station on the Eizan Electric Railway
    • Take Kyoto Bus 56 from Demachiyanagi Station, get off at Ichijoji Sagari Matsuchicho, and walk approximately 10 minutes to the east
  • Phone Number: 075-781-8025
  • Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Admission Fees:
    • Adults: 500 yen
    • Middle and High School Students: 400 yen
    • Elementary School Students: 300 yen
  • Official Website: Enko-ji


It is a Tendai Buddhist temple located in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City.

The temple grounds feature a stone-paved approach, creating a nostalgic and atmospheric ambiance.

Renge-ji is designed as a pond and spring-style garden, making it truly beautiful when combined with the autumn foliage.
In the fall, you’ll be greeted by numerous red-colored Japanese maple trees, creating a breathtaking sight.

It’s a scene that can captivate you, making you lose track of time.
It’s definitely one of Kyoto’s must-visit tourist attractions, especially during the autumn foliage season.


  • Address: 1 Kamitakano Hachiman-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • Approximately 6 minutes on foot from Eizan Electric Railway Miyake-Hachiman Station
    • 1 minute walk from Kyoto Bus Uwahashi Station
  • Phone Number: 075-781-3494
  • Closed on: None
  • Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: 500 yen
  • Official Website: Renge-ji
  • Note: The use of tripods and photography from within the garden is prohibited.


Did the charm of this area come across to you?
Kyoto offers many other spots where you can experience deep history and magnificent nature.
These are summarized in other articles, so please be sure to check them out.


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