Gion, Kawaramachi, Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Gion, Kawaramachi, Kiyomizu-dera Temple:Overview & History
Travelers in Kyoto will always make time to visit the Gion area. Cross the Shijio-ohashi Bridge from Kawaramachi-dori Street and walk along Shijo-dori Street to find Yasaka-jinja Shrine. Yasaka-jinja Shrine was originally called Gion-sha Shrine, with grounds extending to the west bank of Kamo-gawa River. The former name of Yasaka-jinja Shrine is the origin of the name for Kyoto's biggest entertainment district, Gion. Go south from Yasaka-jinja Shrine along Higashioji-dori Street, and then go up Matsubara-dori Street slope to Kiyomizu-dera Temple to enjoy a wide open view of Kyoto.
Gion, Kawaramachi, Kiyomizu-dera Temple:Area Introduction
This area features many iconic Kyoto tourist attractions such as the hanamachi (entertainment area and geisha district) Gion, Yasaka-jinja Shrine, and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. With many eating establishments situated throughout, the area is perfect for a leisurely stroll. This area is a must-visit for anyone looking to enjoy the charm of Kyoto.
Kawaramachi Surrounding Areas
At the center of Kyoto, this bustling area is known as a shopping district as well as a business district. There are many places to shop, such as the Nishiki Market ("Kyoto's kitchen"), Shinkyogoku Shopping Street with many souvenir shops, as well as Kyoto Takashimaya and Kyoto Marui.
Gion Surrounding Areas
Many eating establishments stand side by side on Shijo-dori Street, leading up to Yasaka-jinja Shrine. Depending on when you arrive, you may be lucky to see a maiko (apprentice geisha). The Gion Shirakawa area is designated as an important preservation district for historic buildings, and features many Kyo-machiya (traditional Kyoto town houses) facing the stone-paved street.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple Surrounding Areas
Located midway up Mt. Otowa, Kiyomizu-dera Temple covers an area of 130,000 square meters. The temple grounds are home to many famous landmarks, such as the three-story pagoda, Kiyomizu no butai (the Kiyomizu stage), and the Otowa-no-taki Waterfall. The surrounding area is perfect for taking a stroll, with the temple road called Kiyomizu-zaka Slope, as well as the Ninen-zaka Slope stretching from Kiyomizu-dera Temple to Kodai-ji Temple.
Gion, Kawaramachi, Kiyomizu-dera Temple:Must-See Events
July: Gion Festival
Gion Festival is one of Japan's biggest festivals. Festivities are held by Yasaka-jinja Shrine over the entire month of July. This festival has a history of over 1,000 years and has been loved by citizens of Kyoto as an iconic summer event in the city. The streets are particularly bustling with tourists for the Yamahoko Junko (Yamahoko Grand Parade) on the 17th and the Yoiyama (evening street parties) on the 24th.
Mid-March: Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro
Starting in 2003, Kyoto's iconic temples and shrines in Higashiyama such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Yasaka-jinja Shrine, and Shoren-in Temple participate in this event by being adorned with the lights of open air lanterns together with beautiful flower arrangements. Approximately 2,400 lanterns decorate some 4.6 kilometers of paths, letting you bask in a mesmerizing atmosphere while walking at night.
Gion, Kawaramachi, Kiyomizu-dera Temple:Access
Access from Kansai International Airport to Gion area
From Kansai Airport Station, take the JR Kanku Rapid Service bound for Tenno-ji, ride for 79 minutes, and then get off at Kyobashi Station. Transfer to the Keihan Main Line Limited Express bound for Demachiyanagi, ride for 41 minutes, and then get off at Gion-shijo Station.
Access from Osaka International Airport to Kawaramachi
From Osaka Airport Station, take the Osaka Monorail bound for Kadoma-shi, ride for 24 minutes, and then get off at Minami-ibaraki Station. Transfer to the Hankyu Kyoto Line bound for Kawaramachi (Kyoto), ride for about 30 minutes, and then get off at Kawaramachi Station.
Access from Osaka Station to Kawaramachi
From JR Osaka Station, walk to Hankyu Umeda Station, take the Hankyu Kyoto Line Limited Express bound for Kawaramachi (Kyoto), ride for 43 minutes, and then get off at Kawaramachi Station.
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