Temples & Shrines

Yasaka Shrine

Walking Kyoto – Yasaka Shrine

On this weeks section of our series on walking the streets of central Kyoto we pick up from Kodai-ji temple and continue north-west to explore the Gion district. Yasaka Shrine is at the eastern end of Shijo (fourth street) and is the major shrine of the Gion…

ryozen temple

Walking Kyoto – Ryozen Kannon

In this series we set out a self guided walking tour around Eastern Kyoto from Kyoto station in the south to the Silver Pavillion in the north. Complete one long walk or take just the section that interests you. In this posts we continue on from Kiyomizudera to the Ryozen Kannon temple.


Walking Kyoto: Kiyomizudera

This post is one of a series that make up a self guided walking tour through eastern Kyoto. The full route is around 10 km from Kyoto station to Ginkakuji, the silver temple, in the north. Make a day of it or select only the sections that appeal the most.

Sanjusangendo temple in Kyoto, Japan. The size and number of gold plated statues in this unassuming hall is incredible.

Exploring Sanjusangendo Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Sanjusangendo is an unique and impressive temple in Kyoto. It dates back to 1164 and is famous for it’s 1001 golden statues of Kannon, goddess of mercy. We explored Sanjusangendo as part of our self guided walking tour through eastern Kyoto.  For this leg we…

Benten-Kutsu cave at Hasedera

This small shrine within Hasedera temple is an example of the blending and co-existence of Buddhism and Shinto in Japan.  I’m really interested in Japanese and Buddhist history so I was excited to find this spot at our first stop in Kamakura. We visited on…

Heian Shrine

A visit to Heian Shrine in Kyoto

Kyoto is one of my favorite cities to wander and get lost in, it’s flat, relatively compact and packed full of interesting things to see.  Heian Shrine is located centrally and easy to incorporate into either a walking tour or access via the public transport…

Yasaka Shrine

How to visit a Shinto Shrine in Japan

Visiting a Shinto shrine is tightly woven into the daily life, culture and history of Japan.  As a tourist you will probably want to visit at least one during your stay.  I had a list of shrines and shrine festivals I wanted to see but…

A day trip to Enryakuji, Mt Hiei

Enryakuji – A Day Trip from Kyoto

Enryakuji is an easy day trip from Kyoto, just half an hour on the train and you can be breathing the mountain air with stunning views out over Lake Biwa. This peaceful collection of historic temples on Mt Hiei is the perfect spot for a bit of light hiking, a living history lesson and a whole lot of serenity.

Sakura blossom at Ryoanji temple

Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) in Japan

In late March and early April the Cherry Blossom trees bloom across most of Japan.  This is called Sakura and it’s a magical time to visit.  Not only are cherry blossoms beautiful but they’re a symbol of new beginnings, of impermanence, the coming of spring…

Great Buddha of Kamakura

The Great Buddha of Kotoku-in Temple

The Great Buddha in Kamakura is one of the largest Buddha statues in Japan. It’s just one of several great attractions that make this coastal city, just an hour from Tokyo, the perfect day trip. The Great Buddha statue was at the top of my…


Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is a ‘must see’ destination on a trip to Kamakura.  The site is historically and architecturally impressive in addition to its cultural value.   The Shrine was founded in 1180 for Yoritomo Minamoto, the first Shogun of the Kamakura period immediately after…