Heian-jungu Shrine is one of the most important and visually impressive Shinto shrines in Kyoto. It’s worth a visit, particularly on Shinto festival days.
Heian-jingu shrine, Kyoto © danobrienmuzyka
Like most Shinto shrines, Heian-jingu Shrine is marked by a vermillion torii (shrine gate) out front. But the torii at Heigan-jingu is anything but ordinary: It’s vast. Standing almost 25 meters high, it dominates the entire Okazaki-koen Park area.
Interestingly, it’s set so far away from the main compound of the shrine that many people assume it’s completely unrelated to the shrine. Heian-jingu Shrine was built in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto as capital of the country and to coincide with an industrial exposition held that year. It’s a 5/8 scale reproduction of the original Hiean Palace (the palace of the early emperors of Kyoto).
You can explore the vast gravel strewn open area in front of the main shrine, make wishes at the shrine, buy amulets and fortunes and observe the Japanese as they go through their various religious rituals. There’s a decent garden that you must pay to enter behind the main hall. It’s famous for its cherry blossoms and this is the only time that we really recommend paying to enter the garden.
97 Nishitenno-cho, Okazaki, Sakyo-ku;
6am-5:30pm February 15-March 14 & October
6am-6pm March 15 – September 30
6am-5pm November 1 – February 14
Admission to shrine precincts:
Non-smoking area: Yes
1min walk from Kyoto Kaikan Bijutsukan-mae Bus Stop, Kyoto City Bus 5 from Kyoto Station
10min walk from Higashiyama Station, Tozai subway line
Official Website (English)
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See my complete list of hand-picked recommendations for Northern Higashiyama, including things to do, places to eat and places to stay.
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