Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Eastern Kyoto

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Eastern Kyoto is where some of the most famous temples and shrines are located. There are so many sites worth visiting in Eastern Kyoto so it is best to allot a day or two just for exploring this region. Here are some of the must-see places in Eastern Kyoto.

1) Kiyomizudera (清水寺)
Kiyomizudera or "the temple of pure water" is undoubtedly one of the most famous temples in Kyoto. Kiyomizudera is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This temple is famous for its veranda where you can have great views of the city. A small waterfall is located near the temple and people believe that if they drink the water or wash their hands with it, they will have good health. During spring and autumn, Kiyomizudera is lit up at night and this gives a whole different feel to the temple. This temple is open from 6am to 6pm (although I recommend going there in the morning to avoid the crowd) and admission fee is 300yen.

Kiyomizudera Temple (taken on November 24, 2008)

Kiyomizudera Temple (taken on November 24, 2008)

Kiyomizudera Temple Waterfall (taken on November 24, 2008)

Access:
a) 10-minute walk from Kyoto City Bus Gojozaka stop
b) 10-minute walk from Kyoto City Bus Kiyomizu-michi stop
c) 10-minute walk from Kyoto City Bus Higashiyama-gojo Stop
d) 25-minute walk from Keihan Railway Gojo Station 25min. walk

2) Nanzenji (南禅寺) - Philosopher's Path - Ginkakuji (銀閣寺) Area
The Philosopher's path is a scenic 2km path lined with sakura trees. Usually, visitors start their journey from Nanzenji (one of the most important temples in Kyoto) and then follow the Philosopher's Path until they reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ginkakuji or the Temple of the Silver Pavilion. This temple was modeled after Kinkakuji in Western Kyoto but unlike its name, Ginkakuji is not covered in silver. However, Ginkakuji is under renovation until Spring 2010. You can still enter the temple grounds but the pavilion itself is surrounded by scaffolding.

Nanzenji is open from 8:40am to 5pm from March to November and 8:40am to 4:30pm from December to February. Entrance fee is 500yen. Ginkakuji, on the other hand is open from 8:30am to 5pm from March to November and 9am to 4:30pm from December to February. Entrance fee is 500yen.

Nanzenji (taken on November 29, 2008)

Philosopher's Path In Autumn (taken on November 29, 2008)

Philosopher's Path In Autumn (taken on November 29, 2008)

Ginkakuji Under Renovation (taken on November 29, 2008)

Access Nanzenji:
a) Subway Tozai Line Keage Station
b) Kyoto City Bus Hosshojucho Stop
c) Kyoto City Bus Nanzen-ji-eikan-ji-michi-mae Stop

Access Ginkakuji:
a) 15-minute walk from Keihan Railway Demachi-Yanagi Station
b) 10-minute walk Kyoto City Bus Ginkakuji-michi Stop
c) 5-minute walk from Kyoto City Bus Ginkakuji-mae Stop

3) Gion Area (祇園)
Gion is famous for being the home of Geishas and Maikos. Here you can see streets lined with traditional Japanese bars and restaurants. Gion also comes to life every year for the Gion Festival held the whole month of July.

Gion (taken on November 29, 2008)

Gion (taken on November 29, 2008)

A short walk from Gion will take you to Yasaka Shrine which plays a vital role in the yearly festival. Entrance to this shrine is free.

Yasaka Shrine (taken on November 29, 2008)

Aside from Yasaka Shrine, you can also walk to one of the oldest zen temples in Japan, Kenniji. The temple is open from 10am to 4pm and entrance fee is 500yen.

Kenniji (taken on November 29, 2008)

Access:
a) Keihan Railway Shijo Station
b) Hankyu Railway Kawaramachi Station
c) Kyoto City Bus Gion Stop

4) Maruyama Park Area (丸山公園)
Located next to Yasaka Shrine, Maruyama Park is one great place to relax and take in the beauty of nature. There are also many temples around Maruyama Park such as Koudaiji temple and Chionin Temple.

Maruyama Park Pond (taken on November 29, 2008)

Maruyama Park (taken on November 29, 2008)

Maruyama Park Bridge (taken on November 29, 2008)

Koudaiji Temple is a famous autumn foliage viewing site and as it is located on a hill, it also offers great views of the city. A big statue sitting on top of a temple can also be found beside Koudaiji temple. Note however that the entrance fee to this temple and Koudaiji is separate. Koudaiji temple is open from 9am to 5pm and entrance fee is 500yen. During the autumn season from late October to early December, the temple is also open from 6:30pm to 9:00pm.

Koudaiji (taken on November 29, 2008)

Koudaiji Inside (taken on November 29, 2008)

Temple beside Koudaiji (taken on November 29, 2008)

Aside from Kodaiji, Chionin Temple is also worth a visit when you are spending time inside Maruyama Park. It is very large and popular as well.

Inside Chionin Temple (taken on November 29, 2008)

Access:
a) For all: Kyoto City Bus Gion Stop
b) For all: Keihan Railway Shijo Station
c) Hankyu Railway Kawaramachi
d) Kyoto City Bus Higashiyama-Yasui Stop
d) Kyoto City Bus Chion-in-mae Stop (nearer Chionin Temple)

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7 comments:

  1. Fantastic article. Very informative . I want to visit Eastern Kyoto so much now :)

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  2. @Tricia hi! thanks! Kyoto is really such a beautiful place :D

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  4. Oh my... it's so beautiful.

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  5. @ana Hi! Kyoto is really a beautiful place :D

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  6. Kyoto seems so indescribably beautiful. Japanese friends of mine in the States often spoke of it. Hadn't realized your name means wanderlust-what a great name!

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  7. @Nothing Profound hi! Yes, kyoto is really beautiful. It is really worth visiting even once. Thanks! It is Filipino for wanderlust! :D

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