Kyoto: Japan’s World Heritage Hub

Japan is home to 20 UNESCO world heritage sites including 16 cultural heritages and 4 natural heritages. Among all this world heritage sites ‘Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto’ is one of the most visited by both locals and foreigners.

Kyoto was built on AD 794 and served as imperial capital till mid 19th century. In this long period as the center of the Japanese culture, it spans the development of wooden architecture, religious architecture and the art of famous Japanese landscaping. From all those monuments,  17 architecturally, historically, religiously and culturally important sites were selected and named as a UNESCO world heritage site on 1994 under the name of ‘Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto’

List of sites in Historic Monuments of ancient Kyoto

  • Kamigamo Shrine
    A guardian shrine built according to the Heian period architecture
    Access : Take city bus to Kamigamojinja mae or Kamigamomizonobashi
    Open    : All day
    Fee        : Free of charge (Special admission to certain buildings may cost separately)




  • Shimogamo Shrine
    One of the oldest shrine in Kyoto. Situated in the site of ancient Tadasu no mori forest
    Access   : Take city bus to shimogamo jinja mae
    Open     : 06:00 AM – 17:00 PM*
    Fee         : Free of charge (Special admission to certain buildings may cost separately)





  • Toji Temple 
    Tallest Pagoda in Japan with the height of 57 meters. Considered as a symbol of Kyoto. Read our blog about flea market at Toji temple >> here
    Access   : Take city bus to Tojihigashimon mae
    Open      : 08:30 AM – 17:00 PM* (20th Mar – 17th Apr)
    08:30 AM – 18:00 PM* (18th Apr – 19th Sep)
    08:30 AM – 16:30 PM* (20th Sep – 19th Mar)
    Fee          : 500 – 800 Yen (Varies with the season)




  • Kiyomizudera
    Founded in 778 AD and its present building was constructed in 1633. There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. Famous for the beautiful background change with seasons.
    Access    : Take city bus to Kiyomizudera/Gion/Ginkakuji and get down at gojozaka
    and 10 min walk from there
    Open       : 06:00 AM – 17:30 PM* (Varies with the season. 17:30 is the earliest closing
    time of the year)
    Fee           : 400 Yen




  • Enryaku-ji
    One of the most signioficant monasteries in Japanese history. Founded in Heian period by Saicho who introduced the Tendai sect. of Mahayana buddhism to Japan
    Access     : Take Keihan bus or Kyoto bus to Enryaku ji
    Open        : 08:30 AM – 16:30 PM* (Mar – Nov)
    : 09:00 AM – 16:00 PM*   (Dec)
    : 09:00 AM – 16:30 PM*  (Jan -Feb)
    Above timings are for East pagoda only. West pagoda closes 30 minutes
    Fee    : 700 Yen (Additional 500 Yen for National treasure hall )



  • Daigo-ji
    Temple named after Emporer Daigo, who entered buddhist priesthood, later died and buried in the temple premises.
    Access     : Take Tozai subway line to Daigo station and head to east from there
    Open        : 09:00 AM -16:30* PM
    Fee            : 600 – 1500 Yen (For 1 attraction 600 Yen, 2 attraction 1000 Yen,
    3 attraction 1500 Yen)



  • Ninna-ji
    Founded in early Heian period for the purpose of bless the nation and propagate buddhist teachings
    Access     : Take City bus to Omuroninnaji
    Open        : 09:00 AM – 17:00 PM* (till 16:30 PM from December to February)
    Fee            : 500 Yen (additional 600 Yen for Cherry blossom grounds in the season)




  • Byodo-in
    Originally a villa of a high ranking courtier in Heian period. Image of Byodo in temple is display on the Japanese 10yen coin.
    Access    : Get off at JR Uji station or Keihan Uji station
    Open       : 08:30 AM – 17:30 PM*
    Fee           : 600 Yen (Additional 300 Yen for Phoenix hall)

Byodo-In_Temple* Entrance to all temples till 30 minutes before closing time

Important – Please note that Entrance fee and opening times may change without prior notice


To be continued with ….Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto Part II

Things to do, what to see in Kyoto >> Click





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