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Kyoto Districts

Japan flag. Kyoto District Guides

Kyoto Areas 京都

Kyoto, Japan's most fascinating city, is made up of many different districts each with its own distinctive atmosphere, charm and history.

Kyoto Travel Guide: Enkoji Temple and Garden.

Enkoji Temple & Garden, Higashiyama, Kyoto

Many of Kyoto's districts reflect the various Japanese arts, crafts and trades that have traditionally thrived for centuries in that area.

You'll still find kimono weaving in the Nishijin area in the west of the city and Geisha hurrying to their appointments in the teahouses of Pontocho and Gion downtown, just as they also have for hundreds of years.

The eastern hills of Higashiyama are famous for their many historic temples and shrines such as Ginkakuji, Nanzenji and Enkoji. The western, less populated, side of the city is known for the Zen temples and gardens of Kinkakuji, Ryoanji and Myoshinji.

Further north are the mountain retreats of Kibune and Kurama and to the north east the imposing Mount Hiei, home to the mountain monks of Enryakuji.

Kyoto is best seen on foot or by bicycle, though if you need to move around more quickly use the cross-shaped subway, jump on a bus or hail a ubiquitous taxi.

The Kamogawa and Takanogawa rivers form a 'Y-shape' through the middle of the city, with their confluence at Demachiyanagi. Cycle down the banks of the river to the main shopping areas of Shijo Kawaramachi, Sanjo and Teramachi. If you are in Kyoto near the end of the month, don't miss the thriving temple markets of Toji Temple, south of Kyoto Station, on the 21st and Kitano Tenmangu, to the west of town, on the 25th of each month.

"Oide Yasu" (welcome) as they say in Kyoto!

Arashiyama. Fushimi. Fushimi Castle. Kyoto Geisha.
Arashiyama Fushimi Fushimi Castle Geisha Quarters
Gion. Heian Jingu. Katsura Rikyu. Kibune & Kurama.
Gion Heian Shrine Katsura Rikyu Kibune & Kurama

Nanzenji. Nene no Michi. Nijo Castle. Nishiki Market.
Nanzenji Nene no Michi Nijo Castle Nishiki Market
Philosopher's Walk. Pontocho. Shirakawa Dori. Shugakuin Rikyu.
Philosopher's Walk Pontocho Shirakawa Dori Shugakuin Rikyu
Lake Biwa Canal. Kyoto Temples and Shrines. Teramchi, Kyoto. Uji.
Lake Biwa Canal Kyoto Temples Teramachi Uji Tea
Mt Hiei. Uminobe-no-michi. Kyoto Shrines. Blood Soaked Temples.
Mount Hiei Uminobenomichi Kyoto Shrines Bloody Temples

Arashiyama Walk. Kyoto Gosho. Higashiyama Walk. West Kyoto.
Arashiyama Walk Gosho Higashiyama Walk West Kyoto

Recommended Reading

Two of Diane Durston's books on Kyoto make for a great introduction to the city: Old Kyoto and Kyoto: Seven Paths to the Heart of the City.
Also recommended are The Hidden Gardens of Kyoto by Masaaki Ono, Seeing Kyoto by Juliet Winter Carpenter and for the historical background to the sights Kyoto: A Cultural History by John Dougill.

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Hotels in Kyoto - Agoda

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