The Most Beautiful Shinto Shrines in Kyoto

Walking Through a Tunnel of Torii Gates | © indigoMood /Flickr
Walking Through a Tunnel of Torii Gates | © indigoMood /Flickr
Photo of John Asano
27 October 2017

Shinto is Japan’s oldest religion. Shinto means “the way of the gods” and the shrines provide a place of worship as well as homes to the spirits. Kyoto is home to over 400 Shinto shrines, so it can be a daunting task to choose the best shrine to visit on any trip. Here are some beautiful pictures of the best shrines in Kyoto to help make your choice that little bit easier.

Heian Jingu Shrine in Kyoto | © Norio NAKAYAMA /Flickr

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is one of the most beautiful and impressive attractions in all of Kyoto. The city’s most important shrine is also its most popular and attracts visitors by the bus load.

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine | © minoir /Flickr
A Magical Tunnel of Shrine Gates | © minoir /Flickr
Walking Through a Tunnel of Torii Gates | © indigoMood /Flickr

Heian Jingu Shrine

Heian Jingu Shrine is one of the most visually impressive shrines in all of Japan with colourful buildings and beautiful gardens. It is a relatively new shrine having been built in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto as capital of Japan.

Heian Jingu Shrine | © Armand Flickr
Main Gate at Heian Jingu Shrine | © Armand Flickr
One of the Gardens at Heian Jingu Shrine | © Robert Montgomery Flickr

Yasaka Jinja Shrine

Yasaka Jinja Shrine is a colourful, bustling downtown shrine in the heart of the city, which overlooks the geisha and entertainment district of Gion. It is one of Kyoto’s most important shrines and has a long connection with the Kyoto Geisha community. The shrine is home to the famous Gion Matsuri which takes place every year over the entire month of July.

Yasaka Jinja Shrine in Gion | © hiro kobashi/Flickr
Vermillion Shrine Gate at Yasaka Jinja | © hslo/ Flickr
Paper Lanterns at Yasaka Jinja Shrine | ©

Shimogamo Jinja Shrine

Shimogamo Jinja Shrine is one of the oldest and most beautiful shrines in Kyoto. Located at the junction of the Takano and Kamo Rivers, the shrine is surrounded by an ancient forest with trees that are up to 600 years old making it an amazing place to take a stroll.

Shimogamo Shrine Gate | © erysimum9/ Flickr
Stage at Shimogamo Shrine on a Beautiful Day | © erysimum9/ Flickr
Purifyingn Pool at Shimogamo Jinja Shrine | © erysimum9/ Flickr

Kifune Jinja Shrine

Kifune Jinja Shrine is located up on a hill that offers a fantastic escape from the heat of summer in the city. Stone steps lined with red lanterns create an attractive and atmospheric setting that is just magical in any season.

Resting at Kifune Jinja Shrine | © ot0rip 604/ Flickr

Kamigamo Jinja Shrine

Kamigamo Jinja Shrine is another high ranking shrine in Kyoto. It is historically significant as the Tokugawa Shoguns were very devoted to this shrine.

The Romon Gate at Kamigamo Jinja Shrine | © Tetsuhiro Terada/ Flickr
Kamigamo Shrine Precincts | © Tetsuhiro Terada/ Flickr
Shinto Priest and Priestess at Kamigamo Jinja Shrine | © Flickr

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