Kamowake-ikazuchi Shrine The shrine is erected in a spacious premises blessed with rich greenery. Between the first and the second torii gates, extends an open lawn space, where horse races are held as a part of a ceremony to pray to the patron god for a good harvest. In the precincts, there are a stream, old grove, and several shrine structures. Two sand cones with pine leaves in front of Hosodono Hall are regarded as the places to which gods ascend from heaven, thereby creating a mysterious, pure atmosphere.
Kamo-mioya Shrine 53 structures, including Romon Gate, Buden Hall, Shinpukuden Hall, and Chumon Gate, have been designated as Important Cultural Properties. Honden (main hall) rebuilt in 1863 has been designated as a National Treasure. A grove Tadasuno-mori is loved by residents who stroll along a path under rich foliage.
Kyo-oh-gokokuji The 57 m five-storied pagoda (National Treasure), rebuilt in 1644 with support from Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu is the tallest pagoda in Japan.The Kodo Hall enshrines Japan's oldest statues of esoteric Buddhism. Other National Treasures include Daishi-do Hall and Renge-mon Gate.
Kiyomizu The approach slope leads to Nioh-mon Gate, Saimon Gate, and a three-storied pagoda erected at the foot of Higashiyama mountains. The main hall (National Treasure) has a platform projecting over a precipice, which commands a panoramic view of Kyoto surrounded by cherry blossoms in spring, green foliage in summer, and crimson maples in autumn. In the temple precincts, there are 12 more halls and pagodas.
Hieizan Enryakuji Located on the top of Mt. Hiei, the Temple commands panoramic views of Kyoto on one side and Lake Biwa on the other. Historically, the Temple trained many celebrated priests, who founded various Buddhist sects, including Priests Eisai, Dogen, and Nichiren. Even today, the Temple is a place of ascetic practices and retains its solemn religious atmosphere. In the spacious precincts, there are ten National Treasures and over fifty Important Cultural Properties, in addition to Kompon-chu-do Hall (National Treasure), Daikodo Hall, Shaka-do Hall, and Yokokawa-chu-do Hall (all three Halls are Important Cultural Properties).
Daigoji Every year on the second Sunday in April, an elegant processional with the participants dressed in costumes of the 16th century takes place under the full blossomming cherry trees, reproducing the flower viewing picnic of the military ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his mistresses, followed by a great many attendants. Samboin, the principal monastery, houses many chambers decorated with gorgeous wall paintings and painted sliding screens (Important Cultural Properties) and Omote-shoin Chamber (National Treasure).Every year on February 23, a festival called Godairikison-ninnoe is held. Paper charms available during the festival are believed to have the power to protect their holders from disasters. In the festival, a rice-cake lifting contest is held, participated in by many men and women, who try to lift rice-cakes weighing 150 kg and 90 kg respectively.
Ninnaji Passing through a vermilion Chumon Gate (Important Cultural Property), visitors see a five-storied pagoda (Important Cultural Property) and Kondo Hall (National Treasure), originally a Shishinden Hall of the Imperial Palace. The uniquely trimmed low-branched squat cherry trees are known as Omuro cherries for their beautiful blossoms.
Byodoin The Ho-oh-do (Phoenix Hall, National Treasure), reproducing Amitabha's heavenly palace in the Pure Land, has two symmetrical corridors extending from both sides of the hall, on the roof of which, two Phoenixes stretch their wings. The hall enshrines a large statue of Amitabha Buddha (National Treasure) sculpted by Jocho. The Buddha is surrounded by 52 wooden images of bodhisttvas, dancing and playing musical instruments on clouds. Other National Treasures are a wall painting and a temple bell, one of the three bells in Japan.
Ujigami Japan's oldest shrine building located on the east bank of the Uji River. Haiden Hall (National Treasure), a typical aristocratic style of architecture of the Heian Period (794 - 1192), originally belonged to Uji Imperial Villa. The main hall (National Treasure), constructed during the Heian Period, comprises three sections: a small section in the middle and two larger sections on both sides.
Kozanji The quiet precincts on the mountain have been designated as a historical site. There, remains Japan's oldest tea garden. It is said that the founder, Priest Myoe sowed the tea seeds brought from China by Zen Master Eisai here. Sekisuiin (National Treasure), once the residence of Priest Myoe, has a simple structure with a shingle roof, that well preserves the architectural style of the 12th century.
Saihoji Known as the Moss Garden, since the precincts are covered with a thick carpet of 120 species of moss. There are two types of garden: a dry landscape garden comprising only rocks and sand, and the circling a pond style garden with a pond whose shape is similar to the Chinese character of "S." The "dry" garden is located in a higher portion, while the "pond" garden is in a lower portion of the precincts.
Tenryuji A garden to the rear of the Hojo building retains the original style. The circling a pond style garden integrates aristocratic traditions and Zen style, presenting seasonally changing beauty with the Kameyama and Arashiyama mountains in the background.
Rokuonji The Temple is known as an epitome of Kitayama Culture.The Golden Pavilion, a gilded three-storied reliquary hall, is situated at the margin of a large pond named Kyokochi Pond. It is typical architecture of the Muromachi Period (1333 - 1573). .
Jishoji Silver Pavilion (National Treasure) is a simple structure enshrining Avalokitesvara. The Togudo Hall has been designated as a National Treasure as the first building of "shoin-zukuri" style of residential architecture that became the basis of modern Japanese style residential architecture. Between the two buildings, there is a white sand garden, symbolizing "West Lake" in China with a sand cone, which reflects the moonlight toward the Silver Pavilion.
Ryoanji The Temple is well-known for its rock garden, surrounded by earthen walls in three directions and faced with the corridor of the Hojo building. In the rectangular space measuring 30 m from east to west and 10 m from north to south, 15 rocks of various sizes are arranged on white sand in five groups, each comprising five, two, three, two, and three rocks. The most popular explanation of this garden is that the rocks represent a mother tiger and her cubs, swimming in the river of the white sand toward a fearful dragon.
Hongwanji The head temple of the Jodoshin sect of Buddhism.The grandeur of the Goei-do Hall and Amida-do Hall (both Important Cultural Properties) overwhelms visitors on their first view of the precincts, where hundreds of pigeons flock. Elegant and gorgeous architectural styles of the Momoyama Period (1568 - 1600) are seen in the Karamon Gate, relocated from Fushimi Castle, the north Noh stage, Japan's oldest Noh play stage, the Shoin and Kuro-shoin Chambers, and Hiunkaku Pavilion; all of which are National Treasures.
Nijo The Castle comprises the Honmaru (main compound, Important Cultural Property), originally Katsura-no-miya Palace, and a magnificent Ninomaru Palace; a Momoyama style architecture full of gorgeous decorations.