What to Do in Kamigyo

Kamigyo - Kyoto Attractions

Kamigyo attractions are diverse presenting ancient shrines and temples with the Kyoto Imperial Palace highest on the list. Being a centre of the tea ceremony, this is a good place to learn how to appreciate this fine art. Places like WAK Japan offer visitors the opportunity to learn a number of traditional Japanese arts. The Kamigyo Ward Prefectural Office itself is an attraction with beautifully maintained architecture and a scenic location.

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Kyoto Imperial Palace

The beautiful and spectacular Kyoto Imperial Palace lies in a huge park north of downtown Kyoto. It was the residence of the Imperial Family before the capital was relocated to Tokyo in 1868. The palace itself is closed to the public, but the park is open all year round and is a very popular spot for family picnics on weekends. The entire palace complex is encircled by an earthen wall and covers 27 acres. It has 5 gates with the southern gate as the main entrance to the grounds. The palace itself was destroyed by fire a few times and the current palace was rebuilt in 1855 with traditional methods. The stunning gardens still follow the original design.

The park features many historical sites including ancient temples and visitors can join an English-language tour of the Imperial Palace grounds. The tour runs during the week only at 10am and 2pm. To book the tour, contact the Imperial Household Agency at the Kyoto Office. 

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 4pm (extended opening times in summer months)
  • Location: 3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-0881, Japan
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 211 1215
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Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Kitano Tenmangu is a Shinto shrine built in 947 to conciliate the spirit of Sugawara no Michizane, a famous scholar, poet and official. The temple grounds are very scenic, overflowing with Michizane’s favourite red and white plum blossom trees. Every year on 25th February the Plum Blossom Festival is held here to commemorate his death. It's a great chance for you to experience the rare sight of geiko and maiko hosting open-air tea ceremonies.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm
  • Location: Bakurocho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-8386, Japan
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 461 0005
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Seimei Shrine

Over 1,000 years old, Seimei Shrine was commissioned by Emperor Ichijo in memory of Abe no Seimei, a spiritual advisor of emperors and the Heian government. The temple was built in 1007, on the site of his house following his death. It contains a famous well that is believed to have magical water. The symbol of a pentacle is found in many areas of the temple, representing the 5 Chinese elements. At the rear of the temple there's a bridge that some claim is the gateway to the spiritual world.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 6pm
  • Location: 806 Horikawa Dori, Ichijo-agaru, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, 602-8222, Japan
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 441 6460
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Nishijin Textile Center

If you've always wanted to try on a kimono, the Nishijin Textile Centre is the place to go in Kyoto. Dress up as an apprentice geisha in an elegant 12-layered ceremonial kimono and have your photo taken, of course! This textile museum has wonderful exhibits of Japanese clothing and cloth, ancient textiles and demonstrations of hand looms by master craftspeople. Free kimono fashion shows are staged at regular times throughout the day. Find this popular toursit spot in Nishijin, Kyoto’s traditional weaving district.   

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm
  • Location: Horikawa- Imadegawa Minami-iru, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, 602-8216 Japan
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 451 9231
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Kyoto Prefectural Office

This building was the former main building of the Kyoto Prefectural Office and is designated an Important Cultural Property. Reminiscent of European styles of the day, it still looks the way it did when it was built in 1904. The Neo-Renaissance architecture of the building is a charming highlight of Kamanza Street, a beautiful tree-lined boulevard close to the Kyoto Imperial Palace. During the spring and autumn, the building is open to the public. You can see the old Assembly Room and the Governor's Office. 

  • Opening Hours: Spring and Autumn
  • Location: Yabunouchi-cho, Nishiiru, Shinmachi, Shimodachiuri-dori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, 602-8570 Japan
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 451 8111
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WAK JAPAN is an excellent centre of traditional Japanese arts where visitors can partake in study courses or observe masterful demonstrations by some of Kyoto’s most skilled craftspeople. WAK JAPAN founder, Michi Ogawa, aims to promote grass-root level international culture exchange as well as offering Japan’s highly skilled housewives an arena to demonstrate their talents. Tea ceremony, flower arrangement, calligraphy, origami, taiko drum beating, Japanese cooking, Japanese dance, Kimono wearing, and sake tasting are among the traditional arts that are included. Bookings in advance are recommended for inclusion in daily classes. Take the Karasuma subway line to Marutamachi station.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm
  • Location: 761 Tenshucho, Nakagyo Ward, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-0812, Japan
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 212 9993
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