5 Attractions in Kyoto to Visit Wearing a Kimono

Rented a kimono in Kyoto from Okamoto Kimonos Kiyomizuzaka store and now planning a walking route? Here are some attractions in Kyoto that are within reasonable walking distance that you may want to consider exploring.

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Carrie wears a kimono and explores Kyoto

Higashiyama District

The Higashiyama district is a preserved historic district brimming with heritage and character. Taking a stroll on the streets of Higashiyama is a must when in Kyoto. You get to experience the old capital city of Kyoto before the modernization of Japan.

Narrow street of Higashiyama with eateries and shops

It is also a great place to grab a bite with many rows of cafes, and plenty of shops selling traditional snacks. You’ll find anything from expensive restaurants (¥3,000 and up), casual diners (¥1,500 and up) to affordable eateries (around ¥600 and under).

Restaurant at Higashiyama
Freman stands outside a tofu specialty shop in Higashiyama in Kyoto

If you’re planning to “shrine hop”, you’ll find yourself passing through Higashiyama. Give yourself enough time to wander the streets and interesting back alleys in between the shrine and temples as the stores start to close around 5 pm when the skies darken.

Shops in Higashiyama in Kyoto

Kodai-ji and Kodai-ji Sho Museum

The temple was established in 1606 in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He was the General to the warlord and legendary samurai Oda Nobunaga.

Entrance to Kodai-ji via Nene's Path

Built by his Hideyoshi’s wife, Kodai-ji is a stunning and outstanding temple that features breathtaking landscaping, zen gardens, bamboo groves, and lavish buildings. It is a Zen Buddhist temple of the Rinzai sect.

Walkway to the main hall of Kodai-ji in Kyoto

Photography is restricted in the main hall of Kodai-ji, but you can take incredible photos of the surrounding gardens with its man-made ponds and hillscapes.

This is a Temmangu Ox. It is an ox that bears the sufferings for man. You can touch the area of the ox that you have an ailment at with your right hand for healing.

Temmangu Ox – The ox that bears the sufferings for man

The Kodai-ji Sho Museum houses treasures belonging to Hideyoshi and his wife.

Admission to both attractions, Kodai-ji and Kodai-ji Sho Museum, cost ¥600. If you wish to enter the Entokuin Temple, which is a smaller temple within Kodai-ji’s grounds, it costs ¥500 or you can take the package for Kodai-ji, Kodai-ji Sho Museum, and Entokuin at ¥900.

Hand washing basin at Kodai-ji
Kodai-ji and Kodai-ji Sho Museum Address and Details
  • 高台寺, 605-0825 京都府京都市東山区下河原町, 八坂鳥居前下る下河原町526
  • Kodai-ji, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0825, 526 Shimogawara-cho
    • Kodai-ji opens daily 9 am to 5.30 pm (Last entry at 5 pm)
    • Kodai-ji Sho Museum opens 9.30 am to 6.00 pm
    • Entokuin Temple opens from 10 am to 5.30 pm (Last entry at 5 pm)


Kiyomizu-dera means Temple of Pure Water. It was named after the Otowa No Taki waterfall site where the temple was built.

Niomon Gate - the entrance to Kiyomizu-dera

This is the temple of the Goddess of Mercy and is the most popular temples in Kyoto. It’s one of the most iconic attractions in Kyoto.

The Hondo or main hall of Kiyomizu-dera filled with people

The temple was established in 778 before Kyoto became the capital of Japan. Highlights of this temple include the Amitabha Hall, Otowa No Taki (Otowa Waterfall), and the main hall (hondo).

Excited locals and tourists visit Otowa No Taki for blessings from the three pure water streams

Visitors can drink from three streams of “pure water” for blessings in Otowa No Taki. One stream for wisdom, one stream for longevity, and one stream for love. While there are three streams, it is only advisable to drink from two of the three as it would be greedy to go for them all. That makes sense! After all, “He who is greedy is always in want.” 

Selling of fotune papers or omikuji at Kiyomizu-dera
Shaking for the fotune sticks

Kiyomizu-dera offers a resplendent view of Kyoto and the surrounding forests as the temple is built halfway up Otowa mountain. Kiyomizu-dera is also a registered UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

An Asian man in Kimono attempts to lift the Shoshakujo, a heavy 14kg priest staff at Kiyomizu-dera

Adults pay ¥300 and Children pay ¥200 to enter Kiyomizu-dera.

Kiyomizu-dera Address and Details
  • 清水寺, 605-0862 京都府京都市東山区, 清水1丁目294
  • Kiyomizu-dera, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto, 605-0862, 294 Kiyomizu 1-chōme 
    • Open from 6 am and closing time varies based on the seasons


The Japanese are fixated on enmusubi which are Shinto shrines dedicated to love and friendships. Many Japanese pray for success in their love lives there.

The entrance of the famous Jishu-Jinja

Jishu-jinja, just a short walk and in the immediate vicinity of Kiyomizu-dera, is one of the most famous enmusubi shrines in Kyoto and a popular spot for pilgrimages.

Ena or prayer plagues hung up in the shrine

You can purchase an “ena” (prayer plaque) and write a sincere letter to the gods filled with your earnest wishes. On the first Sunday of the month, the chief priest prays on the wishes so that they can be fulfilled.

You can get your fortune at the Omikuji counter. They offer English-translated omikuji at ¥200 as well if you just ask for it.

Miko at the counter of Jishu-Jinja in Kyoto
English omikuji from the shrine

One of the must-dos at Jishu-jinja is to try walking between two rocks called the love stones. If you successfully make the journey from one rock to the other with your eyes closed, your wish will be granted.

Carrie poses with The Love Rock, an attraction in Kyoto in Jishu-Jinja

Admission is absolutely free. More money to spend on the lucky charms, ena, and omikuji perhaps?

Jishu-Jinja Address and Details
  • 地主神社, 605-0862 京都府京都市, 東山区清水1-317
  • Jishu-Jinja, Higashiyama, Kyoto, 605-0862, 1-317, Kiyomizu
    • Open Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

Yasaka Pagoda

This five-story Yasaka Shrine is visible from the streets of Higashiyama and is the last of what remains of Honkaji. You can choose to climb up all five stories at the price of ¥400. Most pagodas do not allow entry so that probably justifies the steep admission fee.

The pagoda closes early, so do start your itinerary early in the day.

Yasaka Pagoda Address and Details
  • 八坂の塔, 605-0827 京都府京都市東山区八坂通下河原東入, 東山区八坂上町388
  • Yasaka Pagoda, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0827, 388 Yasaka Kamimachi, Shimogawara-dori
    • Open Daily from 10 am to 4 pm


One response to “5 Attractions in Kyoto to Visit Wearing a Kimono”

  1. […] Now I’m ready to go off on my little walking route of attractions in Kyoto! […]

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