Eastern Kyoto Travel Guide
Kyoto (京都, Kyōto) was Japan’s capital from 794 until 1868. Kyoto is a historical city, many shrines and historical structures are well-preserved. There are many places and things to do in Kyoto. Since I have limited time, I concentrated in exploring Western, Southern and Eastern Kyoto.
Things to do in Eastern Kyoto:
Exploring beautiful gardens, charming paths and historical shrines and temples. I’ve done most my exploration Eastern Kyoto by foot (I love walking).
➤ Ginkakuji – I started my day at Ginkakuji, I reached the temple by bus. I enjoyed walking along the circular route of this “zen” temple.
➤ Philosopher’s Path – After exiting Ginkakuji, I started to walk towards the Philosophers path. It is approximately two kilometers long, the path starts at Ginkakuji and ends at Nanzenji. There are restaurants, cafes, and temples along the path. Walking around the path is really relaxing.
➤ Nanzenji- Explore the beautiful garden and temple complex. The central temple grounds are open to the public and free of charge but some sub temples have entrance fees. The massive brick aqueduct is also a famous site in the temple grounds.
➤ Keage Incline- It was once used as a rail line for transportation of goods. It is one of the best spot for Sakura viewing in spring. Unfortunately during my visit the cherry blossoms have not yet bloomed.
➤ Heian Shrine- I walked until the end of Kaege line and reached the huge Tori gate. The Shrine is just a few blocks away from the Tori gate. I had my lunch in a restaurant outside the temple before walking towards Maruyama Park.
➤ Higashiyama , Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine – The streets in Higashiyama District are well-preserved and are lined by shops, cafes and restaurants. Maruyuma Park is open to the public and one of the best Sakura viewing spot. Next to the park is the Yasaka Shrine. It is also known as the Gion shrine. It is famous for the Gion Matsuri a summer festival held during the month of July.
➤ Gion – After exiting Yasaka shrine I walked until I reached the well-preserved streets of Gion. It is famous for geishas and well-preserved structures. Photographing a geisha can be challenging and they move fast yet graceful.
➤ Kamo River– I walked along the scenic river banks and ate dinner then went back to Gion.
***Kiyomizudera is one of the most photographed temple in Kyoto; unfortunately I was not able to visit it since the rain got stronger. Maybe I’ll visit it next time.
List of Tourist Spots in Eastern Kyoto:
- Kyoto National Museum
- Nanzenji Temple
- Philosopher’s Path
- Kodaiji Temple
- Shorenin Temple
- Heian Shrine
- Chionin Temple
- Eikando Temple
- Shinnyodo Temple
- Yasaka Shrine
- Maruyama Park
- Shogunzuka Mound
Getting Around Kyoto 京都:
Trains, Taxis and buses are available. Using Bus is the most convenient and they also provide discounted tickets to foreigners. The Kyoto One Day Bus Card only costs 500 yen and Kyoto Subway One Day Card costs 600 yen. You may also like to hire bicycles for short distances.