Yamashina Ward lies in the south-eastern area of Kyoto City bordered by historic Higashiyama and Sakyo wards to the north west and the Higashiyama mountains to the east.
In the 15th and 16th centuries the ward’s northwestern precinct was the site of many potter’s kilns devoted to firing the Kiyomizu-yaki pottery. Today the area is still famous for its beautiful ceramic items including pottery for ikebana flower arranging, the tea ceremony and Japanese dining utensils. A pottery festival is held here every year during summer.
During the Meiji period the Biwa Canal was excavated, connecting Kyoto with an important water source, freight shipments, and passengers. The watercourse also became Japan’s first hydro-electric power source, fuelling the Kyoto trams.
Its location on the outskirts of the city, nestled next to the mountains gives Yamashina areas of great natural beauty particularly the serene temple gardens found all over the ward.