The Higashiyama District (R) along the lower slopes of Kyoto's eastern mountains is one of the city's best preserved historic districts. It is a great place to experience traditional old Kyoto, especially between Kiyomizudera and Yasaka Shrine, where the narrow lanes, wooden buildings and traditional merchant shops invoke a feeling of the old capital city. Recent efforts to remove telephone poles and repave the streets have further improved the traditional feel of the district.

The streets in Higashiyama are lined by small shops, cafes and restaurants which have been catering to tourists and pilgrims for centuries. These businesses retain their traditional design, although many have been renovated through the years, and they continue to serve customers today, selling local specialties such as pottery, sweets, pickles, crafts and other souvenirs.

The shops and restaurants in the area typically open around nine or ten in the morning and close relatively early around five or six in the evening. While the walk through the Higashiyama District between Kiyomizudera and Yasaka Shrine is only about two kilometers long and could be done in half an hour, you could easily spend half a day or more in the area, visiting the various temples, shrines, shops and cafes along the way. Good walkers are likely to enjoy walking beyond Yasaka Shrine past Chionin and Shorenin to Heian Shrine and possibly as far as Ginkakuji Temple via Nanzenji and the Philosopher's Path.

  • Kiyomizudera Temple
    Hours: 6:00 to 18:00 (until 18:30 in July and August)
    Closed: No closing days
    Admission: 400 yen
  • Kodaiji Temple
    Hours: 9:00 to 17:30 (entry until 17:00)
    Closed: No closing days
    Fee: 600 yen
  • Yasaka Pagoda
    Open irregularly from 10:00 to 16:00
    Fee: 500 yen
  • Yasaka Shrine
    Hours: Always open
    Closed: No closing days
    Fee: Free
  • Maruyama Park
    Hours: Always open
    Closed: No closing days
    Fee: Free

Getting there and around

From Kyoto Station take bus number 206 in direction of Kiyomizudera. The Higashiyama district can be accessed from multiple bus stops between the Gojozaka (10 minutes, 230 yen one way) and Gion (15 minutes, 230 yen) bus stops.

Alternatively, the district can be reached in a 10-15 minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station or Gion-Shijo Station along the Keihan Line, from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station along the Hankyu Line or from Higashiyama Station along the Tozai Subway Line.

How to get to and around Kyoto

Hotels around Kyoto

    • Ryugin
      Ryugin is a luxurious ryokan with only two Japanese suite guestrooms in the secluded alleyway of Gion. Walking distance to Kiyomizudera and Yasaka Shrine.
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    • Ryokan Mugen (Adult Only)
      Luxury
      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.
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    • Mitsuki Kyoto
      Budget-friendly
      Set in Kyoto, 600 metres from Kyoto International Manga Museum and 1.4 km from the centre, Mitsuki Kyoto offers air-conditioned accommodation with free WiFi, and a garden. This 2-star ryokan offers full-day security and luggage storage space. The accommodation provides a concierge service and a housekeeping service for guests. The units in the ryokan are equipped with a kettle. There is a private bathroom with bidet in every unit, along with slippers, a hair dryer and free toiletries. At the ryokan, the units are equipped with bed linen and towels. The ryokan serves a vegetarian and vegan breakfast and breakfast in the room is also available. A bar can be found on-site. Nijo Castle is 1.1 km from Mitsuki Kyoto, while Kyoto Shigaku Kaikan Conference Hall is 1.8 km away. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 46 km from the accommodation.
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    • Guesthouse KYOTO COMPASS
      Budget-friendly
      Located 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.
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    • Ryokan Tori
      Mid-range
      Ryokan 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.
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    • Yado Kiramachi
      Luxury
      Yado Kiramachi offers accommodation set 600 metres from the centre of Kyoto and provides a garden and a terrace. The air-conditioned accommodation is 600 metres from Kyoto Shigaku Kaikan Conference Hall. The ryokan features family rooms. Certain units in the ryokan have private entrance and are equipped with desk and wardrobe. With a private bathroom, units at the ryokan also have free WiFi, while selected rooms will provide you with a balcony. At the ryokan, some units are soundproof. A bar can be found on-site. Kyoto International Manga Museum is 1.3 km from the ryokan, while Gion Shijo Station is 1.6 km away. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 45 km from Yado Kiramachi.
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    • Guesthouse Engawa
      Budget-friendly
      Guesthouse 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.
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    • Gallery Nozawa Inn
      Budget-friendly
      Gallery 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.
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    • Guesthouse HANA Nishijin
      Mid-range
      Guesthouse HANA Kyoto is located in Kyoto, 300 metres from Kitano Tenmangu and 1.2 km from Kinkaku-ji Temple. A simple complimentary breakfast service is provided for guests. Bathroom facilities are shared. Guesthouse HANA Kyoto features free WiFi throughout the property. There is a shared kitchen and a common area with a TV at the property. Nijo Castle is 2.1 km from Guesthouse HANA Kyoto, while Imperial Palace is 2.3 km from the property. The nearest airport is Osaka Itami Airport, 39 km from Guesthouse HANA Kyoto.
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    • Kyo-Anthu Inn
      Mid-range
      Located in Kyoto and within 500 metres of Sanjusangen-do Temple, Kyo-Anthu Inn features a garden, soundproof rooms, and free WiFi. It is set 1.3 km from TKP Garden City Kyoto and provides full-day security. The guest house has family rooms. The guest house will provide guests with air-conditioned units with a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. Some units also have a well-fitted kitchenette equipped with a microwave and a toaster. At the guest house, all units come with bed linen and towels. Guests at the guest house can enjoy a continental breakfast, and breakfast in the room is also available. Popular points of interest near Kyo-Anthu Inn include Kyoto Station, Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Gion Shijo Station. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 44 km from the accommodation.
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    • MIMARU SUITES KYOTO CENTRAL
      Luxury
      Well situated in the Nakagyo Ward district of Kyoto, MIMARU SUITES Kyoto Central is set 1.5 km from Nijo Castle, 1.2 km from Kyoto Shigaku Kaikan Conference Hall and 1.8 km from Samurai Kembu Kyoto. This 4-star hotel offers luggage storage space and free WiFi. The property is 400 metres from Kyoto International Manga Museum, and within less than 1 km of the city centre. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a wardrobe, a kettle, a fridge, a microwave, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At MIMARU SUITES Kyoto Central every room includes bed linen and towels. Gion Shijo Station is 2.2 km from the accommodation, while Shoren-in Temple is 2.8 km away. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 46 km from MIMARU SUITES Kyoto Central.
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Experiences around Kyoto

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