Featuring numerous shrines and temples, Kyoto offers much to discover and here are some of its key sacred sites to add to your itinerary.
Known as the Golden Pavilion, the Kinkaku-ji Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just a 15-minute drive from properties like Park Hotel Kyoto. Once a 14th-century villa, this magnificent Zen Buddhist temple with its golden exteriors enjoys an idyllic backdrop beside a pond and features scenic gardens and an old stone pagoda worth visiting.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kiyomizu-dera Temple is easy to access for those staying at a hotel in Kyoto City. Founded in 790 A.D., this temple on Otowa Mountain is dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy and features a stunning main hall and terrace with inspiring views of the surrounding hills.
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Amongst the most popular shrines in Kyoto, the Fushimi Inari Shrine is known for its many vermilion-coloured torii gates along trails heading up sacred Mount Inari. Dedicated to the Shinto God of Rice, Inari, this site offers an unforgettable hike amidst a mountain forest where you will find various shrine buildings and amazing vistas.
Don’t miss a visit to Yasaka Shrine near Gion with its characteristic vermilion entrance gate. The shrine goes back to the 17th century and on each side, you will find two guardian statues. Dedicated to Susano-o-no-Mikoto and his consort, Inadahime-no-Mikoto, the shrine also hosts the popular Gion Matsuri summer festival in July.