The Kinugasa and Omuro districts comprise a large portion of northwestern Kyoto, with Mt. Kinugasa at their center. This was once a flourishing area, filled with the villas of aristocrats and the Imperial family, which date back to the eighth century.
The Sato cherry trees in Ninna-ji Temple bloom later than other varieties
Ninna-ji Temple priests spread their knowledge and techniques on garden construction throughout Japan
The best way to reach these districts is by bus or taxi.
The easiest place to start is at Kinkaku-ji Temple, which you can get to on a 101 or 205 bus from Kyoto Station. Alternatively, take a 101, 102, 204 or 205 bus from Kita-Oji subway station, on the Karasuma Line.
Many temples and shrines were built along the road known as Kinukake-no-michi, including the world-famous Kinkaku-ji Temple, or Golden Pavilion. Kinkaku-ji Temple is a three-story wooden structure covered with gold leaf.
The temple is now a World Cultural Heritage Site, along with Ninna-ji and Ryoan-ji temples nearby. The trees in the area turn magnificent colors in the autumn.
The stone garden at Ryoan-ji Temple represents the heart of zen philosophy, with fifteen stones of different sizes laid in white sand, allowing the viewer an opportunity to decipher its meaning for themselves.
Graceful Ninna-ji Temple was erected by Emperor Uda in the ninth century. At the end of spring, the two-meter-tall Omuro-zakura cherry trees brighten the temple with lovely blossoms.
Another feature of the district is the Kyoto Prefectural Insho Domoto Museum of Fine Arts, which exhibits Japanese paintings by Insho Domoto, whose style is renowned for its bright colors and modern feel.