Kurodani and Shinnyo-do


Kurodani and Shinnyo-do


Kyoto has a lot of charms. It would be nice to get around this ancient capital with a guidebook but how about exploring Kyoto focusing on one theme?
This time, we featured an upland town, Kurodani-Shinnyo-do area on the north side of Heian-jingu shrine. Small flowers on a café table, traditional buildings which have different atmosphere from that of machiya townhouses, unique aspects of temples and shrines, narrow cobbled streets adorned with green…Why don’t you go out with a map in your hand and see things waiting for you? Unexpected encounters and new discoveries await you!



1Okazaki-jinja-mae Bus stop

At this bus stop, the Route 32, 93, 203 and 204 buses arrive and depart.
Let’s start “ Short Trip” from here!

2Higashi-tenno okazaki-jinja shrine

First, we went to Okazaki-jinja shrine which was associated with 2011's Chinese zodiac animal, the rabbit. In the precincts, there were many statues or goods in the shape of rabbit. The solemn atmosphere may make you feel as if you were in a deep forest. Adorable rabbit statues will soothe you.

  • Address:51 Okazaki Higashi-Tenno-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
  • Open:Main hall opens until 5:00p.m.
  • Access:Close to Kyoto city bus stop “Higashi-tenno-cho” or “Okazaki-jinja-mae”

3Pilgrimage path to Konkaikomyo-ji temple

After paying a visit to Okazaki-jinja shrine, we made a right turn following a small guide board which said “Pilgrimage path to Konkaikomyo-ji temple.” Let’s see what’s waiting for us…there was a small path which drew out the sentiment of a traveler.

4Konkaikomyo-ji temple

We reached Konkaikomyo-ji temple and found the Afro Amitabha statue. It is called Gogo-shiyui-Amida and it is believed that his hair grew long during a long training session. Nice breeze passing through the big Sanmon gate cooled us down.

  • Address:121 Kurodani-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
  • Open:9:00a.m.-4:00p.m.
  • Access:10 minutes walk from Kyoto city bus stop “Okazaki-michi”, “Okazaki-jinja-mae”
  • Website:http://www.kurodani.jp/

5Shinnyo-do temple

We were fascinated by the beautiful three-storied pagoda at Shinnyo-do temple next to Kurodani-san. The peaceful atmosphere would remind you of its formal name, “Shinsho-gokuraku-ji (temple in the true paradise in the Pure Land). With rich greens, the temple is very famous for autumn colors. Some people were enjoying walking and hiking in the grounds.

  • Address:82 Jodoji-Shinnyo-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
  • Open:9:00a.m.-4:00p.m. (Last admission3:45p.m.)
  • Access:8 minutes walk from Kyoto city bus stop “Kinrinshako-mae”, “Shinnyodo-mae”
  • Website:http://shin-nyo-do.jp/

6From Shinnyo-do temple to Mt. Yoshida

We headed for Mt. Yoshida passing by small temples and shrines on a hill.

7Takenaka-inari-jinja shrine

We saw Mt. Daimonji after passing through Torii gates of Takenaka-inari -jinja shrine. The shrine is one of the subordinate shrines of Yoshida-jinja Shrine which enshrines Yaoyorozu-no- Kami (multitudinous gods). We saw Kanji character “Dai” on the mountainside. We usually look it up from the ground but today, we saw it at our eye level. In winter time, you can see snow-clad Kanji character “Dai” clearly when it snows.

  • Address:In the grounds of Yoshida-jinja shrine 30, Kaguraoka-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
  • Access:15 minutes walk from Kyoto city bus stop “Kyodaiseimon-mae”, “Kyodai-Nogakubu-mae”, “Kinrinshako-mae”
  • Website:http://www.yosidajinjya.com/

8Yoshidayama park

We found playground equipment and benches at Yoshidayama park. While taking a rest, a lady who was taking a walk talked to us and she kindly told us there was a café over there.


Walking down the path in the mountain, we arrived at a café, Moan. From there, you can see the whole view of Kyoto city. A cappuccino served at our table, wooden interior, warm light from a lamp, the view in front of us, sound of birds, small handmade items by artists…everything in the space made us forget the time.

  • Address:8 Yoshidakaguraoka-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
  • Open:11:30a.m.-6:00p.m. (last order, 5:00p.m.) Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2:00p.m.
  • Closed:Mondays. (When a public holiday falls on Monday, it is open on those days but closed the next day.) During the New Year period, 8/17-8/31
  • Access:15 minutes walk from Kyoto city bus stop “Jodoji”

10From Moan to Kaguraoka street

When returning, we took a different route on the opposite side of the mountain and went down Mt. Yoshida. Passing through the green path which looked like the one in a picture book, we saw cats also enjoyed taking a walk.

11Kashiwaya hiroyuki kaho

Sweets shop which sells both traditional Japanese and western style sweets. Father makes traditional Japanese sweets, while daughter is in charge of western style ones. Mother sells what they made. We bought a seasonal fruit Swiss roll as a souvenir. The soft cake melted in our mouth with its delicate sweetness.

  • Address:60 Yoshida-kaguraoka-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
  • Open:9:00a.m.-6:00p.m.
  • Closed:Every Sunday, the 3rd Monday
  • Access:15 minutes walk from Kyoto city bus stop “Jodoji”

The Unique, cozy atmosphere in this town…which is different from that of famous Gion or Arashiyama districts. What we found was Kyoto which gently wrapped us and warmed our body and mind like the warm sunshine.
“I will be able to find something nice again when I come here next time”…Kurodani and Shinnyo-do area is the town which raises such expectations.

This information is correct as of December, 2010.