Kyoto Tourist Map – Kyoto Map English
Higashiyama is named for the Eastern Mountains that form a natural green eastern border along Kyoto’s great city basin. The Higashiyama district of stone streets is best explored on foot, from Kiyomizu-dera Temple to the south, along historic stone-paved Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka slopes lined with traditional shops, and past the iconic 5-story wooden Yasaka Pagoda. The cobblestone Nene-no-michi, a street named for Nene, the influential samurai wife of powerful warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, leads past Kodai-ji Temple, which was built by Nene as a Buddhist nun after her husband’s death. Stone roadways continue into Yasaka-jinja, a 7th-century Shinto shrine that hosts the extravagant Gion Matsuri, a historic festival held each July, and dating back over a thousand years.
Kyoto Tourist Map – Kyoto Map English Photo Gallery
Further north from Yasaka Shrine and the adjoining Maruyama Park, laid out by the seventh-generation landscape gardener Ogawa Jihei VII and known for its remarkable cherry trees, the streets are quieter, passing below the monumental Sanmon Temple Gate of Chion-in and the 800-year-old camphor trees of Shoren-in Temple to the east. The nearby Shirakawa River offers a gracefully curving route to follow, partially bordered with willow trees that trail delicate branches in the swift, clear water, and crossed by numerous footbridges leading to winding stone alleyways lined with traditional machiya townhouses of uniquely subdued Kyoto architecture.
It requires grace and stamina to brave the steep stone streets of Higashiyama in silk kimono and wooden okobo sandals. Chochin paper lanterns brighten the early evening at Yasaka-jinja, a venerable shrine with a history dating to 656.
Yasaka Pagoda, a stalwart remnant of Hokan-ji Temple, is a Kyoto landmark.
A kannushi priest updates donor plaques at Yasaka Shrine.
A narrow alley shortcut to the historic cobblestone Nene-no-michi Street.
A trinity of maiko proceed undaunted in broad daylight.
The village- like garden complex behind Inoda Coffee features fine traditional architecture. The company’s respected coffee heritage dates to 1947.
A monk in takuhatsugasa hat, indigo robe, and straw sandals strides uphill, bound for the temple grounds of Kiyomizu-dera.
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