Two of Kyoto’s most attractive streets are Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka, a pair of gently sloping lanes that lead down from Kiyomizu-dera Temple toward Nene-no-Michi Lane
Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka © hslo
Lined with beautifully restored traditional shophouses and blissfully free of the overhead power lines that mar the rest of Kyoto, Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka are a pair of pedestrian-only lanes that make for some of the most atmospheric strolling in the whole city.
In fact, it’s here that you are most likely to be able to imagine what Kyoto looked like before modernity descended in full force. You’ll find plenty of restaurants and teahouses to refresh yourself as you explore, including the single most atmospheric teashop in the city Kasagiya. The only caution is this: During cherry blossom season, these two hills will be utterly crammed with people. In this season (and any other time of year), an evening stroll is highly recommended.
Where Is This Place Located?See these places on our Kyoto Google map:
- Open the Kyoto map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
See my complete list of hand-picked recommendations for Southern Higashiyama, including things to do, places to eat and places to stay.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, get your Japan Rail Pass
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)