If you are interested in Kyoto attractions or Kyoto walking tours, the Kitano area in northwest Kyoto is the perfect place to soak up Japanese culture and learn about Shinto, Buddhism, and Geisha culture first hand due to the number of culturally significant structures in the area. Although Kyoto is better known around the world for temples such as Kinkakuji or Ryoanji, which draw thousands of tourists, the lesser known Kitano area, situated northwest of the central Kyoto, remains a quiet town rich with culture and history, including the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, built over 1000 years ago.
On this two-hour morning walking tour, you will visit and explore three noteworthy locations where you can experience Shinto, Buddhism, and Geisha culture first hand. Our fun and engaging tour will provide you with a deeper understanding of Shinto and Buddhism, how these two great religions have coexisted in Japan, and how they affect the lives of modern Japanese people.
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is one of the most important of several hundred shrines across Japan dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, a scholar, poet, and politician of the Heian Period (794 – 1185), unfairly exiled by political rivals. After Sugawara died in exile, several disasters were attributed to his vengeful spirit, so shrines were built to appease him.
Kamishichiken Geisha District
Despite being Kyoto's oldest geisha district, Kamishichiken has become the least famous of the five (the other four geisha districts are Gion Kobu, Gion Higashi, Pontocho, and Miyagawacho) largely due to its location (specifically, its distance from downtown Kyoto and Yasaka Shrine) and relatively small size. "Kamishichiken" means "Seven Upper Houses," in reference to the seven teahouses built from materials leftover from Muromachi Period (1333 – 1573) renovations to the Kitano Shrine. Two of the largest buildings in the Kamishichiken include the Kamishichiken Kaburenjo Theater, where dance performances are held, and Saihonji Temple.
Senbon Shakado Temple
The Main Hall (Honden) at Sembon Shakado is one of the oldest buildings in Kyoto and has remained intact since 1227 despite wars and fires through the ages that have destroyed nearby buildings over the years. The main attraction of the Sembon Shakado is a hall housing large wooden and bronze Buddhist statues created during the Heian and Kamakura (1185 – 1333) periods.
The statues you'll see here include a statue of the infant Buddha and six tall statues of Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy), thought to be created by Tankei—a Japanese sculptor of the Kei school, which flourished during the Kamakura Period, and a student of and the eldest son of the master sculptor Unkei.
Kyoto Walking Tour: Kitano Tenmangu, Senbon Shakado & Kamishichiken
Adult: 15 years old and above
Child: 6 to 14 years old
Upon purchase of the ticket, you will receive an email confirmation with e-ticket/e-voucher within two days. Tours and tickets are subjected to availability and are not confirmed until a second confirmation email is received.
Meeting point: Kitano Tenmangu
Meeting time: 10 am