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Discover temples and tombs, and find a tea bowl bargain

The Yamashina area is in southeast Kyoto, along a route connecting Kyoto and Nara . Nara was the capital before Kyoto and the Narakaido Highway, linking the two capital cities, was important for centuries.

In addition to the tombs of emperors and a huge temple, Yamashina is famous for its pottery, with everything from tea bowls to beautifully decorated wares for every day use, including plates and even coffee cups.

Don't Miss

  • Daigoji Temple dominating the landscape
  • Pottery-a-plenty at Kiyomizuyaki Pottery Complex

How to Get There

Yamashina is easily accessed by train from JR Kyoto Station.

From Kyoto Station, take the JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line (Biwako Line) to Yamashina Station. It is just one stop away.

Where roads cross

Yamashina was a historical crossroads. In addition to being on the Narakaido Highway, it became a stop on the all important Tokaido Road, connecting Kyoto and Osaka with Edo (old Tokyo). The JR Tokaido Shinkansen and Tokaido Mainline still bear the name of the route today.

Yamashina also contains numerous tombs of important historical figures, including those of Emperor Tenji (626–672); Sakanoue no Tamuramaro (758–811), a famous shogun and general; and Emperor Daigo (885–930).

The tomb of Emperor Tenji is the oldest Imperial tomb in Kyoto.

Daigoji Temple

Daigoji Temple is on Mt. Daigo, one of the largest temples in all of Kyoto. Daigoji Temple is made up of more than 90 buildings sprawling up the mountain. It was founded in the ninth century and in the 16th century Toyotomi Hideyoshi held a cherry blossom viewing party here.

Hike to the top

Daigoji Temple is divided into three parts, with Kami-Daigo at the top of the mountain requiring a climb. While it's not the easiest trek, you'll be rewarded with solitude and a great view.

Daigoji Temple is best known for its five-storied pagoda. This pagoda is the oldest structure in Kyoto, built in 951.

A pottery town

Yamashina is the center of Kyoto's pottery community. There have been pottery communities since the 15th and 16th centuries. Many pottery shops and wholesalers can still be found in the neighbourhood of Kiyomizuyaki Danchi.

Delicate and colorful designs

Yamashina is famous for Kiyomizuyaki pottery (or Kiyomizu Ware). The art form flourished in the 16th century and is still carried on today.

Kiyomizuyaki is delicately produced and uses vivid colors.

It is gaining a following internationally, but you can still find bargains in Yamashina.

Pottery festival

A local festival, Kiyomizuyaki no Sato Matsuri, is celebrated on the third Friday, Saturday and Sunday of October. Here, you can find very affordable pottery.

There are many street vendors right in front of Yamashina Station, as well as many food and beer vendors.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.


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