Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds.
Fushimi Inari is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Foxes are thought to be Inari's messengers, resulting in many fox statues across the shrine grounds. Fushimi Inari Shrine has ancient origins, predating the capital's move to Kyoto in 794.
Heian Jingu Shrine
Heian Jingu Shrine is a relatively recent addition to Kyoto's collection of sacred places, but is still a very impressive shrine which features elegant, richly-colored buildings surrounded by large gardens in the four cardinal directions.
Built in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the founding of Heian Kyo (Kyoto), and dedicated to the Emperors Kammu and Komei, the first and last Emperors to rule Kyoto, the buildings are a partial replica of the Imperial Palace of the Heian Period (794-1185). The vermillion-lacquered Otenmon Gate and Daigoku-den (main hall) are especially beautiful. The gardens are representative of Meiji Period garden design, and have a rich variety of flowers that change with the four seasons.
Yasaka Jinja Shrine
Yasaka Jinja Shrine is a colourful, bustling downtown shrine in the heart of the city, which overlooks the geisha and entertainment district of Gion. It is one of Kyoto’s most important shrines and has a long connection with the Kyoto Geisha community. The shrine is home to the famous Gion Matsuri which takes place every year over the entire month of July.
Shimogamo Jinja Shrine
Shimogamo Jinja Shrine is one of the oldest and most beautiful shrines in Kyoto. Located at the junction of the Takano and Kamo Rivers, the shrine is surrounded by an ancient forest with trees that are up to 600 years old making it an amazing place to take a stroll.
Kifune Jinja Shrine
Kifune Jinja Shrine is located up on a hill that offers a fantastic escape from the heat of summer in the city. Stone steps lined with red lanterns create an attractive and atmospheric setting that is just magical in any season.
Kamigamo Jinja Shrine
The Kamo Shrines, Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine, are both recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are two of the most important and oldest shrines in Kyoto.
In fact, the Kamo Shrines even predate the city's establishment as national capital in 794. Throughout the thousand years that Kyoto served as Japan's capital city, the Imperial Court patronized the shrines as establishments dedicated to the city's protection and prosperity.