Places of Interest in Kyoto (N - U)
Following are brief explanations of places of interest in Kyoto.
Nijo-jo castle is a member of world cultural heritage of Kyoto. Ninomaru-Goten mansion is a national treasure. The castle lost its castle tower but it has a beautiful garden. Shinsen-en garden is close to Nijo-jo. About two kilometer south stands Mibu-dera temple.
This area is not very famous but one of the temples, Shoden-ji, has a small but good Karesansui garden, designed using Shakkei technique.
Several temples and a Shinto shrine stand scattered along a trail on Nishiyama, which literally means the West Mountain. The temples are Jurin-ji, Sanko-ji, Yoshimine-dera, Konzo-ji, Shoho-ji and Shoji-ji. The shrine is Oharano-jinja. As a transportation network is not developed very much and visitors may need to use taxi or should be prepared for a long walk.
In the flat area on the east of the mountain, there also are a couple of temples and a shrine. These are Komyo-ji and Otokuni-dera temples and Nagaoka-Tenmangu shrine. There used to be a Capital of Japan here, Nagaoka-kyo, for ten years (784 - 794).
Ohara is a northern suburb of Kyoto. It has a placid atmosphere of good old Japan. Sanzen-in temple would be of prime interest in this area. Hosen-in, Jakko-in, Jikko-in, Raigo-in, and Shorin-in temples are also worth visiting.
Heian-jingu shrine is in Okazaki area. The main hall is a 5/8 scaled replica of the main hall of the original Kyoto palace and is the largest main hall of Shinto shrines in Japan. There are museums and art galleries in this area that include The National Museum of Modern Art and Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art.
This area, also called Sanbi, is famous for its colored leaves in Autumn and for a couple of historic old temples, Kozan-ji and Jingo-ji. Kozan-ji temple, a member of world cultural heritage of Kyoto, is in Toganoo. Sekisui-in building of this temple is a national treasure. The principle Buddhist image that is enshrined in Kondo, the main hall, of Jingo-ji temple in Takao is a national treasure. There is a small temple called Saimyo-ji in Makinoo. If you like walking, you can take a hiking route along the Kiyotaki river down to Kiyotaki Bus stop in less than an hour.
Byodo-in temple is a member of world cultural heritage of Kyoto and has a typical Jodo-shiki teien (the Pure Land garden). Buildings of Manpuku-ji have Chinese style. Kosho-ji and Mimuroto-ji temples are also in this area. Ujikami-jinja shrine is probably most obscure among the 17 members of world cultural heritage of Kyoto. The shrine has the oldest building among shrines in Kyoto.
Oldest temple of Kyoto, Koryu-ji is famous for its principal Buddhist image. The temple has several Buddhist images that are national treasures or important cultural properties. Kaiko-no-yashiro shrine has a unique tripost torii gateway.