Heian Shrine – Kyoto | Travel Information

Heian Shrine is a shrine located to the northeast of Kyoto city’s centre. It was built in 1895 to commemorate 1100 since the founding of Heian, meaning that it’s one of the newest shrines in the ancient city of Kyoto, yet it’s still among the more popular shrines in the city, given the beautiful architecture and serene gardens which are attached to the shrine grounds.

As you approach the shrine, you will pass through an enormous Torii gate – a Shinto gate marking the entrance to a shrine.

By enormous, we don’t just mean big, we really mean a massive torii gate, large enough to fit several buses underneath it, and still have space for another bus. The Torii gate at Heian Shrine really is a sight to behold. The Torii gate is located a few minutes walk away from the actual main shrine buildings, which were designed to resemble and replicate some of the original designs from the former Imperial Palace, of which the nation used to be ruled from many years ago.

The shrine grounds are well maintained and are quite peaceful when there are no ceremony’s or festival ongoing.

A particular noteworthy festival that takes place here at the Heian Shrine, is the Jidai Festival, which takes place annually on the 22nd of October to celebrate the founding of the great city of Kyoto. If you are in Kyoto around that time, we suggest you make your way to the shrine and see the Jidai Festival for yourself, and learn a little about Japanese history and culture along the way!

Heian Shrine main building

The Heian Shrine Gardens, located nearby to the main shrine buildings, is a tranquil garden that makes you forget about the present, with it’s beautiful variety of plant life, and views of traditional style buildings dotted around the garden. The gardens do have a small entry fee of 600JPY, which we feel is a fair price to pay for a little break from reality. 

Along the main road to the shrine, you have a multitude of other cool sights to see, such as the Kyoto Museum of Art, and Kyoto Zoo.

Hours and Admission

  • Hours: 6:00am-5:30pm
  • Free (600JPY For Heian Shrine Garden)
  • Average Time Spent: 10-30 Minutes
  • Official Website

Accessing Heian Shrine

Heian Shrine is a about a 10-15 minute walk away from Higashiyama Station along the Kyoto Subway line. 

From Kyoto Station, you will depart along the Karasuma Line (Local Kokusaikaikan), until Karasuma Oike Station, where you then transfer to the Tozai Line (Local Rokujizo) to Higashiyama station. This will take roughly 15 minutes in total on trains, plus the aforementioned 10-15 minute walk, and will cost 260JPY.

Alternatively, a bus route is possible by departing Kyoto Station on either the 5, or 100 bus, which will take 30 minutes (traffic dependent), and will save you about 30JPY.

Where To Stay

Guest House Oumi

For a guesthouse, this hotel is quite unique. It’s relatively cheap to stay in, and provides a range of rooms to suit you needs, from Traditional Japanese style, to more western style rooms.  You are treated more than well here.

Nagi Kyoto Sanjo

Nagi Kyoto Sanjo is a hotel that’s perfect for a pair of travellers out seeking the historic side of Kyoto, as it’s located only a short walking distance from some of the cities most historically significant places.

The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto

Luxury. The best word that describes the Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto. Feel like royalty with world-class service provided on location, you may never want to leave the elegant rooms that are the pride of Kyoto.


Nearby Attractions

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Taisha, better known as Fushimi Inari Shrine, is one of Kyoto’s most popular destinations – if not the most popular. It gained fame by have literally thousands of bright orange torii gates which line the pathways that scale the mountain side.


Commonly known as ‘Silver Pavilion’, or ‘Ginkaku-ji’, the temple is officially known as ‘Jishō-ji’. Jishō-ji is a Zen temple tucked away in the mountains to the east of the city of Kyoto. The Temple was built in 1482 by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa. Ashikaga Yoshimasa, who originally planned the building for his private retirement villa, but following his death, it was converted into a temple.

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