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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Kyoto - Eastern Kyoto
Heian Shrine 
# 10   of 59 most visited
sights in Kyoto

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Heian Shrine (平安神宮, Heian Jingū) has a relatively short history, dating back just over a hundred years to 1895. The shrine was built on the occasion of the 1100th anniversary of the capital's foundation in Kyoto and is dedicated to the spirits of the first and last emperors who reigned from the city, Emperor Kammu (737-806) and Emperor Komei (1831-1867). Heian is the former name of Kyoto.

A giant torii gate marks the approach to the shrine, around which there are a couple of museums. The actual shrine grounds themselves are very spacious, with a wide open court at the center. The shrine's main buildings are a partial replica of the original Imperial Palace from the Heian Period, built on a somewhat smaller scale than the original.

Garden behind the main building

Behind the main buildings there is an attractive, paid garden with a variety of plants, ponds and traditional buildings. The garden's most striking feature are its many weeping cherry trees, which bloom a few days later than most other cherry trees, making the garden one of the best cherry blossom spots in Kyoto around the tail end of the season, which is usually around mid April.

Occasionally, the shrine's court is used for special events. For instance, the shrine serves as a site of the Jidai Festival each year on October 22, the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. The festival's main event is a parade of people in costumes from different periods of Japanese history that leads from the Kyoto Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine.

Heian Shrine's massive Torii Gate during the Jidai Festival

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How to get there
Heian Shrine can be reached by Kyoto City bus number 5 or 100 from Kyoto Station in about half an hour (230 yen). Alternatively, take the subway via Karasuma Oike Station to Higashiyama Station (20 minutes, 260 yen), from where the shrine is a ten minute walk.

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Hours and Fees
Heian Shrine
Hours:6:00 to 17:30 (closing time varies seasonally by half an hour)
Closed:No closing days
Admission:Free

Heian Shrine Garden
Hours:8:30 to 17:00 (closing time varies seasonally by half an hour)
Closed:No closing days
Admission:600 yen

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Hotels and Ryokan
Kyoto offers a wide range of accommodation for all budgets and tastes, including historic ryokan, Western style hotels and low-budget hostels. Among the most attractive districts to stay are the Kyoto Station area, the city center around Shijo Street and the Higashiyama District.
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Tours and Packages
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User Ratings
Ratings for Heian Shrine:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 750 users):
82/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 764):
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306.  National Art Museum (Osaka)   82/100
307.  Nakano Broadway (Tokyo)   82/100
308.  Nanzenji Temple (Kyoto)   82/100
309.  Heian Shrine (Kyoto)   82/100
310.  Eiheiji Temple (Fukui)   82/100
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42.  Minato Mirai (Yokohama)   1487
43.  Heian Shrine (Kyoto)   1486
44.  Ryoanji Temple (Kyoto)   1475
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English Links
Heian Shrine
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Heian Shrine
Official website.

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