Use A-Z Index for other landmarks that are not listed below.

Green star: World Cultural Heritage sites of Kyoto

Principal Temples

Principal Shrines


Places of Interest in Kyoto (I - M)

Following are brief explanations of places of interest in Kyoto.


Shisen-do temple looks more like a cottage than a temple and has a good garden. Manshu-in temple has a Karesansui garden laid out by Kobori Enshu. Great Haikai poets such as Matsuo Basho and Yosa-no-Buson lie buried in the precinct of Konpuku-ji temple. The temple has a tea-hut called Basho-an that was named for Matsuo Basho. Sekizan-zen'in temple is so unique that it has features of Shinto shrine such as Torii gateway and Komainu (guardian dogs). Enko-ji temple, Zenge-in Temple, Saginomori-jinja shrine and Shugaku-in-Rikyu villa are also in this area.

Basho-an of Konpuku-jiGarden of Shisen-doGarden of Enko-jiGarden of Manshu-inThe gate and belfry of Zenge-inTorii of Sekizan-zen'in


This is a less popular area but one of the temples in here, Entsu-ji, is famous for its "Shakkei" (borrowed scenery) garden. Other temples like Jisso-in, Myoman-ji, Renge-ji are here.


Kamo-jinja and vicinity

Shimogamo-jinja and Kamigamo-jinja shrines are members of the world cultural heritage of Kyoto. Aoi-matsuri is the festival of those shrines. Shokoku-ji has a good Karesansui garden and Fusuma-e paintings.

Kamo-gawa riverShimogamo-jinja shrineKamigamo-jinja shrine

Katsura, Matsuo

Katsura Rikyu is famous for its beauty of harmony between the garden and the buildings. You need to get permission for admission in advance. Matsunoo-Taisha is the oldest shrine in Kyoto. The gods of Umenomiya-Taisha are believed to be the gods of conception and easy delivery. Saiho-ji temple is a member of the world cultural heritage of Kyoto but you need to ask them in advance a permission of admission. Joju-ji, Jizo-in and Kegon-ji temples are also in this area


Kinkaku-ji and Vicinity

Kinkaku-ji, Ryoan-ji and Ninna-ji temples in this area are members of the world cultural heritage of Kyoto. Kinkaku-ji has not only the Golden Pavilion but beautiful chisen-kaiyu-shiki / chisen-shuyu-shiki teien (pond-stroll/pond-boating garden). Ryoan-ji's Sekitei (rock garden) is a unique and excellent abstract Karesansui (dry landscape garden). The main hall of Nin'na-ji, a national treasure, was built in the late 16th century as Shishinden building of the imperial palace. Toji-in temple is the family temple of Ashikaga Shogun family.

Kinkaku-ji templeRyoan-ji templeNinna-ji temple

Kitano and Nishijin

The god of Kitano-Tenmangu shrine is believed to be a deity of learning. The main hall of Hirano-jinja shrine has a unique style.

Kurama and Kibune

Climbing uphill from Kurama Station to Kurama-dera temple along a trail in a quiet and still forest, you will see small halls of shrines and temples. Among them, Yuki-jinja is the largest An hour or two light hiking from Kurama-dera leads you to an old shrine named Kibune-jinja.

Kurama-dera templeYuki-jinja shrineKibune-jinja shrine


Four of 22 sub-temples of Daitoku-ji are open to the public regularly. Ryogen-in, one of the foursome, has four good Karesansui (dry landscape) gardens. Zuiho-in has a couple of modern Karesansui. Some of other sub-temples are open only in the limited periods of the year.

Isshidan garden of Ryogen-in