The Higashiyama district is one of Kyoto’s best preserved historic areas. It’s one of the best districts to experience the traditional old Kyoto. The narrow lanes between Yasaka shrine and Kiyomizudera are lined with wooden teahouses, little shops, and many restaurants and cafes. We loved this part of Kyoto even with it being quite busy.
The Yasaka shrine, founded over 1350 years ago, is one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto.
There were a lot of street food stalls set up at the shrine making it a good option for a quick lunch. The Yakisoba was yummy!
Walking along Ninenzaka really brings you back in time. As I was walking I just kept picturing what it would have been like all those years ago. Now, there are lots of little shops and restuarants but it’s still a very well preserved street.
This was a nice old temple we came across. Chugenji Temple originated in 1022. There is a legend that says in 1228 the Kamo River was overflowing from heavy rains. The official in charge of controlling the river saw ’Jizo’ (the guardian deity) rescuing drowning people. To express his gratitude, he enshrined a seated statue of Jizo close to the river and named it ‘Rain Stopping Jizo’.
We stopped in at Kodaiji Temple, it belongs to the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism and has a beautiful Zen garden. We were surprised that there would be an actual line up to take a photo of the weeping cherry tree at the temple.
We made our way to Sannenzaka and enjoyed this ancient shopping street, it sure was busy!
There are some nice rice cracker snack shops along the way. They were quite good for a snack.
Our sightseeing walk finished at Kiyomizudera, which literally means ‘pure water temple’. It was founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa waterfall and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Another day in cherry blossom season just wouldn’t be complete without a very cherry blossom treat. Cherry blossom pancakes that were almost like a custard, it’s hard to explain the texture because it wasn’t like a pancake we are used to. It came with cherry blossom mousse, compote, and sakura icecream. This was divine!
Japan is all about ‘cute’, the cafe bill came inside this little egg!
This wraps up our time in Kyoto. We really enjoyed everything we saw in Kyoto and it’s an amazing city to visit. It’s definitely a stop you should make if visiting Japan. The hotels are expensive (especially during cherry blossom season) and the rooms are super small but it’s all worth it!
A nice touch from the hotel were these little amenity bags, which have come in quite handy. They gave us new ones every day and the little sign said we could keep the bags.
Where we stayed: Hotel Resol 👍