Kita-ku Temples and Shrines Tour, Kyoto

Kita-ku Temples and Shrines Tour, Kyoto
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the iOS app "Kyoto Map and Walks" on iTunes App Store or the Android app "Kyoto Map and Walks" on Google Play. 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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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.

Kita-ku Temples and Shrines Tour Map

Guide Name: Kita-ku Temples and Shrines 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: 7.6 km
Author: emma
Genkou-an Temple

1) Genkou-an Temple

The Genkou-an Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kyoto managed by the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism. Its location is Rakuhoku in the North East of the city and also goes by the name Yoho Zan.

The Genkou-an Temple was built by Tetsuou-Kokushi. It was opened for worship in 1346. Tetsuou-Kokushi was the main priest of the Daitoku ji Temple at the time and intended that the building be used as a hermitage.

Well known features of the Genkou-an Temple are the two windows called the Mayoi no Mado and...   view more
Koetsu-ji Temple

2) Koetsu-ji Temple

The Koetsu-ji Temple evolved from a small thatched hut that belonged to artist Koetsu Honami. The tea houses in the temple complex are surrounded by unique bamboo fences.

The Koetsu-ji Temple is the location where Koetsu Honami, his family and other artists settled on land given to them by the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. The area at the time was an artist’s quarter and the Rimpa School of art was founded here by Koetsu Honami. The Rimpa school combines the Haien traditions of Yamato-e art with...   view more
Imamiya Shrine

3) Imamiya Shrine

The Imamiya Shrine was first established to help remove disease and epidemics from the city of Kyoto. The shrine is a complex consisting of a main hall or Honden and many smaller shrines.

The Imamiya Shrine was established in 994 during the Haien period. It was relocated to its present site in the year 1001. The relocation was in response to an epidemic that ravaged Kyoto in the year 1000. Many of the structures within the complex were completely rebuilt in the year 1902.

The Imamiya...   view more
Daitoku-ji Temple

4) Daitoku-ji Temple (must see)

The Daitoku-ji Temple is one of the fourteen temples managed by branches of the Rinzai School of Zen Buddhism. It consists of a main temple and several sub temples and covers an area of more than 56 acres.

The Daitoku-ji Temple was founded by a Buddhist monk Shuho Myocho in 1326. It was the favorite temple of Emperor Go Daigo of Japan. It was at the time, regarded as one of the five most sacred temples in Kyoto. During the reign of the Ashikaga Shogunate, the temple ceased to receive royal...   view more
Ryogen-in Temple

5) Ryogen-in Temple

The Ryogen-in Temple is a sub temple of the Daitoku ji temple complex in Kyoto. It is famous for the five Zen Buddhist style gardens in front of the house of the Abbot.

The Ryogen-in Temple was established in 1450. It was destroyed during the Onin civil war and rebuilt in 1502 by Hatakeyama Yoshimoto a local nobleman. The temple was handed over to the priest Tokei Soboku of the Daitoku ji temple. It was at this time that the gardens surrounding the temple were laid. All the gardens were...   view more
Kinkaku-ji Temple

6) Kinkaku-ji Temple (must see)

The Kinkaku-ji Temple is one of the most popular among temples in Kyoto. It means the Temple of the Golden Pavilion. The temple was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1994.

The Kinkaku-ji Temple was a house belonging to a powerful politician called Saionji Kintsune. The Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu purchased it as his retirement home in 1397 and under his will asked that the temple be converted into a Zen Buddhist temple dedicated to the Bodhisattva of Mercy, Kannon in...   view more
Hirano Shrine

7) Hirano Shrine (must see)

The Hirano Shrine is located to the south of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. It is a Shinto shrine well known for its gardens and trees and is particularly popular during Hanami or the Cherry Blossom viewing season.

The Hirano Shrine was established in 794 by Emperor Kammu. The shrine received patronage from the imperial family and was often visited by them. It was also a popular place of worship among the Genji nobles and the Heike Samurai lords. In 1871, it was declared a Kanpei-taisha or a...   view more
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

8) Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

The Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was built to appease the wrath of Sugawara Michizane a scholar and politician who was wrongfully exiled from Kyoto to Kyushu. It is dedicated to Tenjin the Shinto God of learning and is the place of worship for those who pray for success in exams.

The Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was built in 947 and enlarged in 959. It is one of the popular shrines among the emperors, shoguns and the common people through the ages. The main Honden or Main Hall was built in 1607 by...   view more
Toji-in Temple

9) Toji-in Temple (must see)

Toji-in Temple is a rather small religious site, unlike the neighboring Kinkaku-ji. It is a quite old religious site with lovely gardens and ponds, featuring a bridge in the shape of the Chinese character that means "heart". This Ashikaga Shogun family temple should not be confused with the famous Toji Temple located in central...   view more


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