Three shrines you have to visit on your next Kyoto trip - Waku Waku

Explore, Experience
Enjoy Japan

Three shrines you have to visit on your next Kyoto trip

Travel

Three shrines you have to visit on your next Kyoto trip

Kyoto has a well deserved reputation as a great travel destination, but with so many beautiful shrines and temples to visit, it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are some great choices.

Claire

Claire

Published on 25 Jan, 12:00

When taking a visit to Kyoto, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which of the thousands of temples and shrines to go to during your trip. They all have their own beauty and charm of course but it’s impossible to visit everyone!

So how can you narrow down the options?

Well, after taking a recent trip to this popular city, here are three of the best that I believe should be on the must-see itinerary of every traveler to Kyoto.

1. Fushimi Inari Shrine

Chances are, if you have ever seen a famous shrine picture from Kyoto, you may have noticed a sea of endless red gates - called torii. These famous gates can be found at Fushimi Inari Shrine, located on the southeast side of Kyoto city, and they are a popular draw for travelers from far and wide.

Three shrines you have to visit on your next Kyoto trip

I was lucky enough to visit this shrine in summer when the hot weather meant most tourists were staying inside during the daytime and I had a lot of space to myself. This allowed me to capture the torii gates in all their glory and really feel at one with nature while walking around the area.

Foxes are the other famous symbol of this shrine and you can find many fox statues guarding the various temple buildings. This shrine is located on the side of a mountain and it's a really great experience walking along the beautiful mountain paths under the torii gates to be eventually rewarded with amazing views from the top.

The red torii gates of Fushimi Inari shrine are one of Kyoto's most iconic sights.
The red torii gates of Fushimi Inari shrine are one of Kyoto's most iconic sights.

There are many cafes and shops in the area too, so I made sure to take a break with a matcha drink and ice cream. And of course, I couldn't leave without purchasing some fox-themed souvenirs to take home with me as a memento of the trip.

2. Yasaka Shrine

If you are enjoying strolling through the traditional areas of Gion and Hanamachi in the east of the city, you would do well to add this shrine to your itinerary.

Three shrines you have to visit on your next Kyoto trip

Yasaka Shrine is a popular place to pray for success in business and for protection against evil. There are many interesting statues located across the shrine complex, and I particularly enjoyed finding the little rabbits dotted around the area.

The lanterns at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto are lit up at dusk.
The lanterns at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto are lit up at dusk.

I visited this shrine just as the sun was setting. It looks particularly beautiful at dusk when the many lanterns surrounding the temple buildings are lit up and add a warm glow to the area.

3. Toji Temple

Toji Temple is a UNESCO world heritage site located within walking distance of the south side of Kyoto Station. Its famous five-story wooden pagoda can be seen from a distance away, which helped me find the way easily to its location.

Three shrines you have to visit on your next Kyoto trip

The temple complex features beautiful grounds and gardens that I enjoyed strolling through at my leisure. There is also the option of paying to enter the museum, which has a collection of Toji's finest treasures including large Buddhist statues.

The famous wooden pagoda at Toji Temple can be seen from a distance.
The famous wooden pagoda at Toji Temple can be seen from a distance.

As with all of the other temples mentioned on this list, there are places to purchase souvenirs of your trip such as goshuin shrine stamps or omamori good luck charms.

As all of these temples and shrines are within easy access of the central Kyoto area, I believe they are a perfect starting point for a tour of the city, especially for travelers who find themselves a little limited on time. Also, the unique features of each place - from the foxes and torii of Fushimi Inari to the pagoda of Toji - make for a really varied and interesting tour.

Have you visited the temples and shrines of Kyoto yet, or is it on your bucket list?

1
Claire

Claire

Irish girl living in Tokyo, enjoying the mountains and nature that Japan has to offer.

1 Comments

From the same writer

Escape the tourist trail with a trip to Nagano Prefecture's biggest lake - Suwa-ko

Within easy reach of Tokyo, this mountainous region boasts areas of natural b...

Claire Claire · Travel · 6 months ago

0
Three shrines you have to visit on your next Kyoto trip

Kyoto has a well deserved reputation as a great travel destination, but with ...

Claire Claire · Travel · 5 months ago

1
If you have 48 hours in Nagasaki city?

I recently spent 48 hours in historical Nagasaki city in Kyushu area. I was h...

Claire Claire · Travel · 23 days ago

0

Read also

Got something wrong on our system. Please reload and try again!
Success action!