Higashiyama Area Walking Tour, Kyoto

Kyoto is a city made for tourists, especially the ones with love for history, interest in religion and, of course, Japanese culture. Many of Kyoto's attractions are located in the eastern part of the city, which, in turn, is split into wards. One of them is the Higashiyama Ward, home to several famous temples of Kyoto, as well as the popular Gion geisha district. To find out more about Higashiyama, take this walking tour.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Higashiyama Area Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Higashiyama Area Walking Tour
Guide Location: Japan » Kyoto (See other walking tours in Kyoto)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Author: emma
Kyoto National Museum

1) Kyoto National Museum (must see)

The Kyoto National Museum (KNM) is dedicated to displaying pre-modern Japanese arts and crafts. It is one of the three museums in Japan that is owned and maintained by the Imperial Family.

The KNM is housed in a building designed by architect Katayama Tokuma. It was opened for public viewing in 1897. A new building with display halls, designed by Morita Keiichi was added to the existing facility in 1966. The Museum has over 12,000 objects of which 6,000 are on display. More than 230 objects...   view more
Sanjusangen-do Temple

2) Sanjusangen-do Temple (must see)

The Sanjusangen-do is a Buddhist temple in Kyoto dedicated to the Bodhisattva Sahasrabhuja-arya-avalokiteŇõvara or the thousand-armed Kannon. The 100-meter long structure is the longest wooden building in Japan.

The temple was built under the orders of Emperor Go-Shirakawa before he retired to lead a religious life in 1164. It is managed by the Tendai sect of Buddhism. The building was destroyed by a fire in 1249 and the present structure was built in 1266. Archery contests are held in the...   view more
Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Gallery

3) Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Gallery

The Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Gallery is a repository of Japanese folk art. The former home of renowned potter and folk art promoter Kawai Kanjiro houses this unique museum that displays his work.

The well known Japanese potter, Kawai Kanjiro (1890 to 1966) lived and worked in the building that now houses a museum in his honor. He was one of the leaders of the Mingei or Folk Art Movement that sought to preserve traditional Japanese crafts that were disappearing with the advent of the industrial...   view more
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

4) Kiyomizu-dera Temple (must see)

The Kiyomizu-dera Temple is an independent Buddhist temple in Kyoto associated with the Hosso sect of Buddhism. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

The Kiyomizu-dera was built in 778 by the Buddhist monk Enchin in honor of the Bodhisattva of mercy and compassion, Kannon Bosatsu. The present building commissioned by the shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu dates back to 1633. Kiyomizu-dera means Temple of the Pure Water and gets its name from its location near the Otowa Waterfall. Today...   view more
Kodai-ji Temple

5) Kodai-ji Temple (must see)

The Kodai-ji Temple was built in 1606 in memory of the spirit of the Samurai warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi by his grieving widow Nene. It is famous for the Maki-e paintings that cover the walls of the Spirit Hall.

The Kodai-ji temple was built using funds donated by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa Shogun who was a vassal of the Samurai warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi. Nene the wife of Hideyoshi became a Buddhist nun after the death of her husband. The temple complex suffered damage by fire in...   view more
Yasaka Shrine

6) Yasaka Shrine (must see)

The Yasaka Shrine is a Shinto temple located in the Gion District of Kyoto. It is the venue of the Gion Matsuri Summer festival celebrated in July.

The Yasaka Shrine was built in 656 AD and was dedicated to the God of prosperity, Susanoo-no-Mikoto, his wife and 8 children. In 869, portable shrines called the Omikoshi were paraded through the streets of Kyoto as an appeal to the deity for relief from a deadly epidemic that ravaged the city. It has become an annual event in Kyoto. The present...   view more
Chion-in Temple

7) Chion-in Temple (must see)

The Chion-in temple is one of the most important sacred sites in Japan. It is the main temple of the Jodo-Shu or Pure Land sect of Buddhism.

The Chion-in Temple was built in 1234 by a Buddhist monk named Genchi. He was a disciple of the founder of the Pure Land sect, Honen. It was built on the location where Honen preached his philosophy to the common people and where he fasted unto death in 1212. The Jodo-Shu teachings became the most widely accepted Buddhist teachings in Japan. The...   view more

8) Shinmonzen-dori

The Shinmonzen-dori is regarded as the antique treasure trove of Kyoto. It is a small street with two storied wooden houses in the Gion Dustrict of the City. There are less than 17 stores in the street and each specializes in a well known Kyoto art or craft. The stores have international customers looking for authentic art and crafts and the shopkeepers are known to be trustworthy and knowledgeable.

The Shinmonzen-dori has shops specializing in scrolls, small carved ornaments attached to...   view more
Gion District

9) Gion District

The Gion District in Kyoto is the location where the traditional Japanese entertainers called the Geisha and their apprentices called Maikos reside and entertain businessmen. The Kyoto word for Geisha is Geiko which means Women of Art.

The Gion District is located around Shijo Avenue in Kyoto between the Yasaka Shrine and the Kamo River. All the buildings that flank the streets are built in traditional Japanese style and are called Machiyas or Town Houses. Inside these are shops, restaurants...   view more

Walking Tours in Kyoto, Japan

Create Your Own Walk in Kyoto

Create Your Own Walk in Kyoto

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kyoto is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Kita-ku Temples and Shrines Tour

Kita-ku Temples and Shrines Tour

Kita-ku is one of Kyoto's wards, located in the northern part of the city. Kita Ward contains some spectacular religious sites, such as the famous Golden Pavilion and the ancient Daitoku-ji Temple, as well as a museum dedicated to world peace. Find them all selected and described in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.6 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Kyoto without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Kyoto, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.3 km
Kyoto Museums Walking Tour

Kyoto Museums Walking Tour

Even though Kyoto is famous for its wide variety of religious sites, this city is the home of several museums as well. The majority of them are dedicated to Japanese culture, ranging from history to fashion and the arts. A large number of Kyoto's museums are located in its eastern areas, where the next self-guided tour is about to take you. Check it out and prepare to get an insight into the culture of one of the most powerful and refined nations of the world.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Walking Tour in Shimogyo Ward

Walking Tour in Shimogyo Ward

The ancient capital Kyoto embraces several aspects of Japanese culture, being packed with shrines, temples, museums and other interesting spots. Each ward of this city boasts its own cultural heritage, as does the Shimogyo area, located right in the heart of Kyoto. Discover Shimogyo's most popular attractions in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Ukyo-ku Walking Tour

Ukyo-ku Walking Tour

Ukyo-ku is one of the eleven wards of Kyoto and it comprises the northwestern corner of the city. This area contains a large number of important religious complexes, some of them listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most famous attractions of Ukyo-ku in Kyoto are selected and described in the next walking tour. So check it out and enjoy your Kyoto adventure.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.7 km
Philosopher's Path Area Walk

Philosopher's Path Area Walk

Tetsugaku no Michi, or Philosopher's Walk, is a well-known route in Kyoto which starts at the famous Ginkaku-ji Temple and heads south to the Nanzen-ji Temple. It follows a stone path by a cherry-tree-lined canal that was once walked daily by Nishida Kitaro, a famous philosopher and professor at Kyoto University. The Philosopher's Walk passes by some major shrines and other places of interest of Kyoto making up this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

18 Japanese Products To Bring Home from Kyoto

18 Japanese Products To Bring Home from Kyoto

The old capital of Japan, the city of Kyoto has once again been the talk of the world lately, thanks to the bestselling "Memoirs of a Geisha" book and the namesake Hollywood blockbuster movie. Renowned for its impeccable craftsmanship, Japan has so much to amaze a foreign eye with. Many of...