Heian Shrine, Kyoto

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 Reviews

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  • At the Heian Shrine.
    At the Heian Shrine.
    by IreneMcKay
  • At the Heian Shrine.
    At the Heian Shrine.
    by IreneMcKay
  • At the Heian Shrine.
    At the Heian Shrine.
    by IreneMcKay
  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Heian Shrine

    by IreneMcKay Updated May 6, 2014
    At the Heian Shrine.
    4 more images

    The Heian Shrine has a relatively short history. It was built in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of Kyoto as Japan's capital city. It is dedicated to the spirits of the first and last emperors who reigned from the city. These were Emperor Kammu (737-806) and Emperor Komei (1831-1867). Heian is the former name of Kyoto.

    At the entrance to the shrine there is a huge torii - gate.The grounds of the shrine are wide-open and spacious. We enjoyed watching the people here in their traditional dress. There was a large animal shaped purification fountain in the courtyard. The shrine's main buildings are a smaller replica of the original Imperial Palace from the Heian Period.They are predominately red and green in colour.

    Behind the main buildings there is an attractive garden area. We did not have time to visit this as we arrived at the shrine very near closing time.

    Personally, I thought this was one of the loveliest parts of Kyoto.

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  • bkoon's Profile Photo

    Heian-Shrine and Shin-en Garden

    by bkoon Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Heian Temple - Front Gate

    Heian Shrine is a big temple (colour is striking red) near the Kyoto Modern Art Museum and Kyoto National Art Museum. The whole environment at Heian Shrine was very zen, meaning, empty spaces are all covered with stones. There is a very nice garden, the Shin-en Garden. There are 2 ponds with lilies and plants and there is even a pavilion where you can just sit down and relax. Newly weds love to go there for their photoshoots. So, if you would like to catch a glimpse of newly weds in their traditional wedding attire and their relatives and friends in their fine kimonos, I suggest you go to Shin-en Garden.

    Extracted from web-link:
    Founded in 1895 to commemorate Kyoto's 1100th anniversary. Dedicated to Emperor Kanmu who founded the capital and Emperor Komei the last Emperor to reign before the capital was moved to Tokyo. The Main Gate (Oten-mon) Great Hall of State (Daigokuden) and other brightly coloured buildings are smaller-scale replicas of buildings in the first imperial palace built 794. Shin-en a pond garden designed for strolling is a Place of Scenic Beauty and covers about 30000 square metres. It is divided into East Central West and South sections each of which has its moment of glory in a different season. Jidai Matsuri (festival) held October 22 is a panoramic procession of 2000 people wearing the costumes marking the periods of Kyoto's history.

    Entrance Fee : Free for Temple; 600 Yen for Shin-en Graden (as at 15 May 04)

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  • Gili_S's Profile Photo

    Heian Jingu's torii

    by Gili_S Written Feb 5, 2010

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    This is the famous Japanese architecture gates, nothing to compare to the European arches but the Heian Jingu's torii with its colourful orange colour is beautiful just in from of the Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art and ahead of the Heian Shrine.

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    Heian Jingu Shrine

    by Gili_S Written Feb 5, 2010

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    The Heian Jingu Shrine is one of the largest, popular, crowded and most beautiful in Kyoto. I love the Orange colours of it and I had problems to select the best 5 photos of this place to add to this tip :)

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    Great Shrine and Garden

    by Rabbityama Written Nov 3, 2009

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    Cherry Blossoms at Heian Shrine
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    Although Kyoto boasts a great number of cultural sites, it is not actually a great place for viewing gardens however, there are a few great gardens, and the Heian Shrine's Shin-en Garden is certainly one of Kyoto's best!

    It circles around the back of the shrine and features a variety of cherry trees, ponds with stepping stones, a beautiful bridge, and more. The Heian Shrine is particularly gorgeous during the cherry blossom season. Many of the blossoms in Kyoto are white, but at the Heian Shrine, blossoms are a vibrant pink!

    As for the shrine itself, it is modeled after the old Heian Imperial Palace, so it doesn't look other Japanese shrines. The torii gate is also quite massive!

    Seeing the Heian Shrine is free, but the Shin-en Garden costs 600 yen.

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    Heian Shrine - History

    by chatterley Written Aug 9, 2009

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    Heian Shrine - Outen-mon

    The two Emperors of Japan, one the founder (Emperor Kammu) of and the other the last ruler (Emperor Komei) of the Heian Capital (today's Kyoto), were deified and enshrined at Heian Shrine.

    The shrine was built in 1895, which was the 1100th year since the Heian Captial was founded. To mark this year, the people built this shrine in the style of the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

    The main structures of this shrine included the Daigoku-den (Outer Oratory), Oten-mon (Divine Gate), Soryu-ro, Byakko-ro, Platform, and Ryubi-dan. In 1940, following the deification of Emperor Komei, additional structures such as the Main Sanctuary, Shinto ritual hall, Inner Sanctuary, Flank Hall, Tablet Hall, Outer and Inner Platforms, Saikan, and Administration Building were built.

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    Heian Shrine - Largest Torii Gate in Japan

    by chatterley Written Aug 9, 2009

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    Heian Shrine Torii Gate

    Heian Shrine is a Shinto Shrine, built in the year 1895.

    This shrine has the largest torii gate in Japan, which arches over a busy road. The torii gate was constructed in 1920, and is 24.2 m tall, with a top rail 33.9 m long. We saw lots of people taking photos of this gate before and after they enter the shrine.

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  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    There's a visitor's lounge at Heian Temple

    by joiwatani Updated Nov 16, 2008

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    %cgThe signs to the visitor's lounge%c*
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    If you packed your lunch while visiting the Ginkakuji Temple, there's a visitor's lounge close to the stores where you can eat. It's located past the covered fountain- a place where people wash themselves before entering the temple. I saw some people there eating their lunches. There are tables and chairs where people just relax.

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    The Japanese children in Kimonos

    by joiwatani Written Nov 14, 2008

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    %cgMe and the cute Japanese girl%c*
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    Whe we got to the temple, there were children with their parents taking their class pictures at the temple. There were photographers taking each children with their best kimonos. The costumes of the kids were so colorful that I can't help to ask permission from their parents to take pictures with their children. Most of the mothers I asked, just smiled and politely asked their children to pose a picture with me. The kids gladly nodded their heads and go some great pictures of them!

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    How did they put all the sand in the court?

    by joiwatani Written Nov 11, 2008

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    %cgJust how much sand in the court!%c*
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    One can notice and wonder how the sand got into the hills of Kyoto! I was really surprised when I got inside the gigantic wooden doors of the Heaian Temple to see how much sand inside the court! The white sand gave a glow to the orange and green paint of the buildings inside. It is amazing how the Japanese people in the old days carried all those sand up the hill.

    That's a lot of sand to carry! I wondered why sand? Is there something particular about white sand in their quest for solace? How did the Japanese people dedicated this to the last emperor of Kyoto and made their people work hard to carry all those sand? Just a thought that got into me while I was inside the temple...

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  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    Go inside the Heian Shrine's court

    by joiwatani Updated Nov 11, 2008

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    %cgThe Heian Shrine%c*
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    Outside the Heaian Shrine are gigantic wooden gates. There is also the ritual cleansing water fountain and the barrels (?) stocked together. But, inside the shrine are more buildings that are so beautiful. I think there are about four structures of different designs but of the same color.

    When we got there, I was surprised that the inner court has white sand on it. How could a white sand be found up in the hills of Kyoto? I always wondered how the Japanese in the old days, carried all the sand up the shrines and temples in Kyoto.

    There is a structure that is off limits to tourists. There is also a building where people go and pray. A vendor close to the gates are selling gift items.

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  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    Visit the Heian Shrine

    by joiwatani Written Nov 10, 2008

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Inner Court at the Heian Shrine

    On our first day in Kyoto, my sisters and I decided to explore the templel that is very close to the main bus stop. First stop? It was the Heian Shrine. We just followed the flow of people going to the shrine. You can't really missed it. This structure was built in 1895 on the occasion of the 1,100th anniversary of the Heian Capital foundation. It is known to be built in dedication to the last Kyoto emperors: Emperor Kammu and Emperor Komei.

    The shrine has an inner court where there are more structures to see.

    The admission to the temple is free.

    We visited the temple in the fall (November 2007) and I heard that the shrine is really beautiful in spring time because of the cherry blossoms. The shrine has a garden with weeping cherry blossoms!

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  • trvlrtom's Profile Photo

    Wonderful garden views

    by trvlrtom Written May 15, 2008

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    Shobi-kan (Kihin-kan)

    The Heian shrine complex is easy to find and surely a top place to visit in Kyoto. For us the gardens were the highlight.

    The Shin'en has four gardens surrounding the main shrine buildings. The paths through the landscaped gardens are representative of Meiji-era (1868-1912) garden design. When we were here, in April, the blossoms were stunning. Cherry blossoms in the Minami Shin'en (South Garden) flow from the trees and over frame structures. The Higashi Shin'en (East Garden) is built around a pond called Seiho-ike, with great views from all sides. Two traditional style buidings make a nice backdrop for scenic photos.

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  • daryll's Profile Photo

    Heian Shrine

    by daryll Updated Dec 4, 2007

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    Heian Shrine courtyard
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    It was built for the first and the last emperor which is Emperor Kammu and Emperor Komei during the Heian period. Interesting part of the architecture, claimed its the replica of Imperial Palace particularly the shrine area.

    Right in front of the Heian Shrine its a huge Torii Gate (very red striking colour). Amazing though it looks new.

    Why should you visit Heian Shrine:
    1. Partially replica of Imperial Building
    2. Garden - amazing sceneries especially during Cherry Blossom season in mid April
    3. Sacred Shinto practice - if you wanted to see shinto practice this is the right place.
    4. Make your wish the Shinto way for details go to Prayer & Luck

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  • RACCOON1's Profile Photo

    HEIAN JINJU SHRINE

    by RACCOON1 Updated Oct 8, 2007

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    24 METERT  HIGH  TORII GATE
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    Built in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto as the capital of Japan.

    This on is not a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE.

    Quite striking on a sunny day at 5:00 pm.

    The site depicts the Imperial Palace in Kyoto in 795 AD.

    Lots of bus tours stop here so its best to come at the end of the day or early morning.

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