Kita-ku Temples and Shrines Tour, Kyoto

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.
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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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 and was regarded at the time as one of Kyoto's five most sacred temples. 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, or the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is one of the most popular among Kyoto's temples, having been included in the UNESCO list of 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 1408....   view more
Hirano-Jinja Shrine

7) Hirano-Jinja 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)

Dating back to 1341, the Toji-in Temple is a rather small religious site, unlike the neighboring Kinkaku-ji. The Hojo (main hall) and adjoining Reikoden (Hall of Sacred Light) are wonderful and worth exploring for the treasures they contain; however, the main attraction is the garden. The first one you will see is centered on Shinji-ike Pond, which is shaped like the kanji (Chinese character) for heart or mind. The western section of the garden is built around a pond shaped like a lotus flower.
...   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.
Higashiyama Area Walking Tour

Higashiyama Area Walking Tour

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.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 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
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
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

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: 6.9 km
Central Kyoto Walking Tour

Central Kyoto Walking Tour

They say visiting Japan without seeing Kyoto is worthless, because a visit to Japan will never be complete without knowing Kyoto's treasures. A city of tradition, history, and culture, Kyoto has plenty of touristic spots to offer. The next walking tour takes you to the core of Kyoto and the main attractions of the city that are located in its central area. Enjoy!

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.4 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

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...