The Shogunzuka Mound («RË, Shōgunzuka) is located on the eastern mountains of Kyoto on the spot where Emperor Kanmu is said to have first surveyed the valley where he ultimately built the ancient capital city of Kyoto. Keeping with this tradition, Shogunzuka is perhaps best known these days for its observation decks which offer spectacular views out over the city below. The area is part of Shorenin Temple whose main buildings stand at the base of the mountain.
On the west side of the grounds stands the older West Observation Deck built on a rather unsightly structure about ten meters above ground. The west deck offers views toward central Kyoto and out as far as Osaka on a clear day; however, the surrounding trees block the views of most of the popular tourist sights around the base of the mountain.
The best views from the Shogunzuka can be enjoyed from the recently renovated, more elegant North Observation Deck from where visitors can look out over northern Kyoto all the way to Mount Hieizan. The spacious wooden deck seems to float above the trees and offers a mostly unobstructed line of sight from nearly 220 meters above the city. If you look carefully, you can pick out popular tourist spots such as the Imperial Palace, Heian Shrine and Nanzenji below.
The actual Shogunzuka Mound is said to contain a two and a half meter high clay statue of a general fully adorned in battle armor with a sword and an iron bow and arrow. The statue serves as a guardian talisman for the city and legend has it that the entire mound rumbles when the city is in danger.
Next to the mound stands the Seiryuden temple hall which houses a painting of the fearsome Buddhist deity Fudo Myoo, who is depicted holding a sword and rope, surrounded by flames. The painting is an important object of worship of Shorenin Temple and a national treasure. A reproduction is on display inside the hall.
The grounds also feature a beautiful Japanese landscape garden with maple and cherry trees that display brilliant shades of red, yellow and orange in autumn and pink cherry blossoms in spring respectively. The garden is known for its seasonal illuminations held in the evenings from late October to early December and from late March to early May. During this time visitors are also invited to see the night view of Kyoto from the observation decks.
Shogunzuka Mound is located at the top of Mount Higashiyama.
Hiking trails lead up the mountain to the Shogunzuka Mound. One trail starts around the corner from Shorenin Temple near the Awata Sanso Restaurant of the Hotel Okura while another leads up the mountain from a trailhead behind Chionin Temple and Maruyama Park. Neither trailhead is easily found. The hike up through the forest to the mound is quite steep and takes about 30-45 minutes. Sturdy shoes are recommended.
On weekends, national holidays and everyday during November, the cherry blossom season, New Year and Golden Week, Keihan Bus number 70 operates roughly hourly buses between Sanjo Station, Keage Station and Shogunzuka. Some buses also serve Shijo-Kawaramachi and Gion-Shijo stations. The one way fare is 230 yen and is not covered by the 1-day Kyoto City Bus pass. During the rest of the year, access by public transportation is not provided.
Shogunzuka can be reached by taxi in about five minutes and 1000 yen from Keage Station on the Tozai Subway Line, in about ten minutes and 1500 yen from Shorenin Temple or in about 30 minutes and 2000 yen from Kyoto Station.
Guesthouse EngawaGuesthouse Engawa offers accommodation in Kyoto. Guests can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of Kyoto in their rooms. Each comes with a flat-screen TV, and an electric kettle will be provided upon request. Bathroom facilities are shared with other guests. Free toiletries and hairdryers are also available. There is luggage storage space at the property. Kiyomizu-dera Temple is 600 metres from Guesthouse Engawa, while Heian Shrine is 2.4 km from the property. The nearest airport is Osaka Itami Airport, 39 km from the property.View on Booking.com
Guesthouse KYOTO COMPASSLocated in Kyoto, this traditional Japanese guest house features free Wi-Fi and a free public computer. Shichijo Onmae bus stop is 3 minutesf walk away. A seating area and shared bathroom are provided with each room at Guesthouse KYOTO COMPASS. Free toiletries are provided and blankets are available upon request. Select rooms have a garden view. A shared living area and bicycles are available for guestsf use during their stay at this Kyoto Guesthouse Compass. Access to the shared kitchen is available upon request. The guest house is 4.5 km from Imperial Palace and 2.2 km from Kyoto Station. Nijo Castle and Toji Castle are within a 30 minutesf bus ride away.View on Booking.com
Ryokan Mugen (Adult Only)Mugen is a property that was built 160 years ago, situated in Kyoto, 1 km from Nijo Castle. Every room at Mugen features an en suite shower room, toilet, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Free WiFi is available throughout the entire property. You will find a shared lounge on site and a bar at the annex building. The ryokan also offers bike hire. Imperial Palace is 1.1 km from Mugen, while Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is 1.6 km from the property. The nearest airport is Osaka Itami Airport, 39 km from the property.View on Booking.com
Gallery Nozawa InnGallery Nozawa Inn offers accommodation in Kyoto, 25 minutes on foot from JR Kyoto Station. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. Every room includes a flat-screen TV and air conditioning. Each room is equipped with a private toilet, and bathrooms are shared. For your comfort, you will find free toiletries and a hairdryer. There is luggage storage space at the property. Guests can sample Japanese-style breakfast featuring seasonal ingredients. There is a public bathhouse located a 10-minute walk away. Nijo Castle is 2.4 km from Gallery Nozawa Inn, while Kyoto International Manga Museum is 2.4 km from the property. Osaka Itami Airport is 36 km away.View on Booking.com
Guesthouse tu casaAttractively located in the Higashiyama Ward district of Kyoto, Guesthouse tu casa is situated 1.2 km from Sanjusangen-do Temple, 1.4 km from Kiyomizu-dera Temple and 1.9 km from TKP Garden City Kyoto. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The guest house has family rooms. At the guest house rooms are equipped with a shared bathroom. Samurai Kembu Kyoto is 2.2 km from Guesthouse tu casa, while Kyoto International Manga Museum is 2.8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 38 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com
SHIN TERRACE & HOSTEL KYOTOOpen in September 2017, SHIN TERRACE & HOSTEL KYOTO offers accommodation with a rooftop terrace, just a 3-minute walk from JR Tanbaguchi Station. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property. Nijo Castle is 2.1 km away. You will find luggage storage space at the property. An art exhibition and various events are organised at the property. Kyoto International Manga Museum is 2.4 km from SHIN TERRACE & HOSTEL KYOTO, while Katsura Imperial Villa is 3.2 km from the property. The nearest airport is Osaka Itami Airport, 36 km from SHIN TERRACE & HOSTEL KYOTO.View on Booking.com
Guest House OumiWell set in Kyoto, Guest House Oumi provides air-conditioned rooms, a shared lounge, free WiFi and a garden. Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The accommodation offers a shared kitchen and room service for guests. At the guest house every room comes with a shared bathroom with free toiletries. A continental breakfast is available daily at guesthouseoumi. Nijo Castle is less than 1 km from the accommodation, while Kyoto International Manga Museum is 2.2 km away. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 37 km from Guest House Oumi.View on Booking.com
Kyoto Shijo Takakura Hotel GrandereverieIdeally situated in the Shimogyo Ward district of Kyoto, Kyoto Shijo Takakura Hotel Grandereverie is situated 1.3 km from Kyoto International Manga Museum, 1.9 km from Samurai Kembu Kyoto and 2.3 km from TKP Garden City Kyoto. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and a concierge service, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel has family rooms. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a wardrobe, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At Kyoto Shijo Takakura Hotel Grandere the rooms have bed linen and towels. An American breakfast is available each morning at the accommodation. Kyoto Shijo Takakura Hotel Grandereverie offers a terrace. Shoren-in Temple is 2.7 km from the hotel, while Nijo Castle is 2.8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 38 km from Kyoto Shijo Takakura Hotel Grandere.View on Booking.com
IMAYA Hostel KyotoAttractively situated in the centre of Kyoto, IMAYA Hostel Kyoto features air-conditioned rooms, a bar, free WiFi and a shared lounge. The property is around less than 1 km from Kyoto International Manga Museum, a 16-minute walk from Nijo Castle and 2.4 km from Samurai Kembu Kyoto. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen, a concierge service and ticket service for guests. All guest rooms at the hostel are fitted with a flat-screen TV and a kitchenette. The rooms have a shared bathroom, slippers and bed linen. Kyoto Imperial Palace is 2.9 km from IMAYA Hostel Kyoto, while Heian Shrine is 3.1 km from the property. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 38 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com
Ryokan ToriRyokan Tori is located in Kyoto, 2 km from Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. The property is around 2.3 km from Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace. The property is 3.2 km from Kinkaku-ji Temple and 3.7 km from Kyoto International Manga Museum. All guest rooms in the ryokan are fitted with a kettle. Each room has a shared bathroom, while selected rooms are fitted with a balcony and others also offer a garden view. All rooms will provide guests with a fridge. Guests at tori can enjoy an Asian breakfast. Heian Shrine is 5 km from the accommodation. Itami Airport is 50 km from the property.View on Booking.com