Heian Shrine

Heian Shrine, Kyoto

Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Religious Sites
6:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
6:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
6:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
This shrine was built in 1895 in celebration of the 1100th anniversary of the founding of the city of Kyoto. Admission is free but there is a small fee for entrance to the gardens, which are home to several beautiful weeping cherry trees which are in bloom during the spring months.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: City Center
No district of Kyoto is quite as representative of its blended nature as the City Center. By day, the covered shopping arcades along Kawaramachi and Shijo Street bring deal hunters and fashionistas out in droves to peruse the clothing, accessories, gifts, and home goods offerings. When it grows dark, the City Center is a hip spot for nightlife, alive with bars and clubs. A trendy culinary scene and an abundance of local watering holes give the Center its youthful vibrancy. In contrast, the quieter areas of the City Center seem a world away, shielded from noise by the foliage of the public gardens and zen spaces surrounding the area's shrines, castles, and the Imperial Palace. These ancient and sacred spots are seamlessly folded into the scenery, providing a respite from the energy of the city, but close enough to put you directly back onto the pulse of the city when you're ready.
Popular mentions

4.0
1,226 reviews
Excellent
456
Very good
566
Average
192
Poor
8
Terrible
4

izyphotos
Mascot, Australia585 contributions
Mar 2021
This Shinto shrine is only just over 100 years old.A massive torii gate marks the approach to the shrine, around which there are a couple of museums. The actual shrine grounds themselves are very spacious, with a wide open court at the center. The shrine's main buildings are a partial replica of the original Imperial Palace from the Heian Period, built on a somewhat smaller scale than the original. Two Chinese-style towers stand at the end of north-south running buildings beyond the Ote-mon: they are Soryu-ro and Byakko-ro, Blue Dragon and White Tiger tower respectively. The floor area here is covered with white sand. It is very impressive and worth the visit. Note: Free Admission to the shrine precincts, charge for the gardens at the rear. Easy to get to by bus from Kyoto station.
Written January 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jack F
San Francisco, CA145 contributions
Dec 2019
I have visited many times and brought many friends. The garden behind the temple is one of my favorite places in Kyoto. The signature stepping stones across the pond is particularly intriguing. Spring of course is the time to go with the hundreds of trees and planting in bloom. You will often catch egrets in the pond and sometimes atop the covered bridge.
Written November 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Magnificent Sri Lanka
Kandy, Sri Lanka28 contributions
Aug 2019
The entrance to the temple is elegant with a majestic 24 m high Torii gate. We spent many hours wandering around the Shrine garden and enjoyed the peaceful and serene environment a lot. There were many picturesque locations in the large temple complex and we were able to capture some gorgeous photographs. Heian Jingu Shrine is a beautiful and tranquil place that you can sit beside and enjoy nature without feeling the time is passing.
Written July 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dioc
Athens, GA180 contributions
Oct 2019
Heian Shrine was built in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto. It is replica of the first Imperial Palace. A peaceful place to stroll and people watch. While we were there they were having a wedding which was a wonderful experience seeing the traditional Japanese attire. We did not go into the garden since it was an extra cost and it was late in the day.
Written June 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

perioddramafan
Vienna, VA17 contributions
May 2019 • Couples
Elegant, beautiful, and utterly photogenic . The architecture borrows from the Chinese.Go early to avoid the crowds. And don’t miss the the exquisite gardens behind the shrine which you’ll want to spend an hour wandering around . Pines, azaleas, ponds, bridges, bamboo fountains, and flowers combine for an Eden experience.
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Siddharth B
Seattle, WA546 contributions
Sep 2019
Like many other attractions of Kyoto, the shrine has two parts: the garden and the shrine itself. When we entered it was late, so we somehow were able to enter through the gardens free of cost. It’s not a huge garden, but a nice place to sit and relax, watch the cranes fly by, the tortoise in the water and when we’re there we could watch a ceremony where few Geishas were invited as performers.

After enjoying the garden, we entered the shrine area through a large tori gate and it was a much more ornate building than I imagined- huge orange wide building as the main hall, with huge gravel open court at the center. You can walk up to the statues but photography is prohibited inside.

The shrine has a lot of significant for Kyoto as a sign of revival after the moving of capital to Tokyo, and post WWII reconstruction. However, as a tourist you won’t feel any of this. If you’ve to pay entrance to the garden, I’d recommend skipping it but for free it’s a nice spot to relax.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

YTCHENG
Hong Kong, China15,491 contributions
Nov 2019
Heian Shrine was built in 1895 in the 1100th anniversary celebration on the founding of city of Kyoto. It had been ranked as a Beppyo Jinjo by the Association of Shinto Shrine. It was particularly impressive during spring time when the weeping cherry trees were in full bloom. Entrance fee to the internal garden was necessary but worthwhile. Highly recommended.
Written December 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Abhijit S
Singapore, Singapore94 contributions
Nov 2019 • Couples
Unlike most other spots the gardens here are not crowded. Beautiful and tranquil with a lovely lake that you can sit beside and enjoy the fall colours without a thousand people galloping about.
Written November 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

help32250
Corona, CA1,852 contributions
Aug 2019
We saw a lot of incredible Gardens in Japan during our 8 days. But this one (which we were told was actually called The Heianjingu Shrine & Gardens) was the best. And considering all of the incredible Gardens we saw, that is the ultimate compliment.

On the other hand it may have been the hottest, most humid one we saw too. It was 93 degrees and 88% humidity that day. The only thing missing from it being a shower was a bar of soap.

But the beauty was never ending. I'm glad my Nikon's memory card had a lot of capacity. And it will be hard to select just a few of the pictures I took to be part of this review.

One bridge is notable and you might recognize having seen it in the movie "Memoirs of a Geisha". But candidly there are many more picturesque locations in this immense Garden. Take you time and enjoy ... even savor ... every one.
Written November 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mrs Jenner
Dunstable, UK32 contributions
Nov 2019 • Couples
The architecture is very beautiful but the garden was the most enjoyable part for me. There were turtles, herons and carp living by/in the ponds by trees that were visibly very old.
Written November 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Heian Shrine

Heian Shrine is open:
  • Sun - Sat 6:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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