Heian Shrine

11 of 63 spots
in Kyoto
81% 822
votes
× How was it?

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

Get There and Around

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.

How to get to and around Kyoto

Hours and Fees

Heian Shrine

Hours

6:00 to 17:30 (closing time varies seasonally by half an hour)

Closed

No closing days

Fees

Free

Heian Shrine Garden

Hours

8:30 to 17:00 (closing time varies seasonally by half an hour)

Closed

No closing days

Fees

600 yen
Last updated: January 13, 2014
Anything we can improve?  Let us know
We strive to keep Japan Guide up-to-date and accurate, and we're always looking for ways to improve. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:
Thank you for your feedback.

Hotels around Kyoto

Find a hotel:

  • Kyoto
  • Fukuoka
  • Hakone
  • Hiroshima
  • Hokkaido
  • Kamakura
  • Kanazawa
  • Kansai Airport
  • Kyoto
  • Mount Fuji
  • Nagasaki
  • Nagoya
  • Narita Airport
  • Nikko
  • Niigata
  • Okinawa
  • Osaka
  • Sapporo
  • Sendai
  • Shima Peninsula
  • Takayama
  • Tokyo
  • 1 night
  • 2 nights
  • 3 nights
  • 4 nights
  • 5 nights
  • 6 nights
  • 7 nights
with:
  • JAPANiCAN
  • Hotels.com
  • Booking.com
  • Agoda
  • Hostel World
  • Japanese Guest Houses
  • Rakuten Travel
Sponsored

Ryokan Motonago

A real traditional inn at Gion with 11 rooms, friendly staff. Walking distance of Kiyomizu-dera, Yasaka-jinja and more.

Sponsored

Gion Shinmonso

A fine ryokan in the Gion near geisha streets. Easy access to Kiyomizu-dera and Yasaka-jinja. Special offers available.

Sponsored

Gion Hatanaka

A real Japanese inn in a quiet area of Gion, famous for Geisha. 15min walk to Kiyomizu-dera. 5min to Yasaka-jinja.

Japan Guide Recommends:

Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto

One of Kyoto's most popular hostels. A ten minute walk from Kyoto Station.

Book:
Agoda Booking

Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Located inside Kyoto Station, this is Kyoto's most convenient 4-star hotel.

Book:
Agoda Booking

Hyatt Regency Kyoto Hotel

Elegant luxury hotel located near Sanjusangendo Temple.

Book:
Agoda Booking

Khaosan Kyoto Guest House

Cheap and popular hostel located in the heart of the city near Kawaramachi Station.

Book:
Agoda Booking

New Miyako Hotel Kyoto

Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.

Book:
Agoda Booking

Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto

Modern hotel along Sanjo Street close to Pontocho and other dining options.

Book:
Agoda Booking

Tours and Packages