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Where to go in Kyoto for Panoramic Views
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Where to go in Kyoto for Panoramic Views

Picture of John Asano
Updated: 27 October 2017
The ancient capital of Kyoto is a photographers dream with many great spots offering fantastic panoramic views of both the city and its surrounding mountains. If you don’t mind a short hike then you are in for a treat. Join us as we look at some of the best places in Kyoto for panoramic views.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

The view from the wooden framed balcony at Kiyomizu-dera Temple is one of the best in the city. The ancient temple offers spectacular sweeping panoramic views over the city and of Kyoto Tower off in the distance. The view changes from season to season with pink cherry blossoms in spring, lush green leaves in summer, red, orange and yellow fall foliage in autumn and the white landscape of winter.

294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0862, Japan

View Over Kyoto from Kiyomizu-dera Temple
View Over Kyoto from Kiyomizu-dera Temple | © pang yu liu Flickr

Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower, the tallest structure in Kyoto at 131 m (429 ft) high, offers what many consider the best panoramic views in Kyoto. You can get a 360-degree view of Kyoto from the 100 m (328 ft) high observation platform. The Kyoto landmark is the world’s tallest non-steel frame structure and symbolises a lighthouse illuminating the landlocked city of Kyoto.

Japan, 〒600-8216 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, 烏丸通七条下ル東塩小路町721-1

Kyoto Tower Illuminated at Night
Kyoto Tower Illuminated at Night | © Mark Lehmkuhler Flickr

Kyoto Station

The ultra modern and futuristic glass walled Kyoto Station has an open air observation deck on the top floor which offers excellent panoramic views of Kyoto and the surrounding mountains. You can also take the full architectural experience to the next level by walking in the glass encased hallways of the skyway on the top floors, which also provides stunning views of the city and station.

Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Inside Kyoto Station
Inside Kyoto Station | © Carlosgg1961 Flickr
Skyway ay Kyoto Station
Skyway at Kyoto Station | © Guilhem Vellut Flickr

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

The hike up the sacred Mount Inari to Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is worth the effort and sweat for majestic sweeping views of the city. One of the best spots is the Yotsutsuji Intersection about half way up the mountain, where some nice views over Kyoto can be enjoyed.

68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 612-0882, Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine | © Kentaro Ohno Flickr
Panoramic views of Kyoto from Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
Panoramic views of Kyoto from Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine | © Perry Li Flickr

Ginkaku-ji Temple

The UNESCO World Heritage Ginkaku-ji Temple (Silver Pavilion) is known for its garden, but it also offers magnificent views from its observatory. Climb the trail at the back of the garden and be rewarded with fantastic views over the entire temple complex and city of Kyoto beyond.

2 Ginkakujicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 606-8402, Japan

Ginkaku-ji Temple
Ginkaku-ji Temple | © Reginald Pentinio Flickr
The Precincts of Ginkaku-ji Temple
The Precincts of Ginkaku-ji Temple | © Tetsuhiro Terada Flickr

Arashiyama Monkey Park

The park which is located at the top of a mountain and inhabited by around 120 wild Japanese macaque monkeys offers fantastic panoramic views over the city of Kyoto.

Japan, 〒616-0004 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Nishikyo Ward, Arashiyama Nakaoshitacho, 61

Enjoying the view from Arashiyama Monkey Park
Enjoying the view fromArashiyama Monkey Park | © John Gillespie Flickr
Panormaic View from Arashiyama Monkey Park
Panormaic View from Arashiyama Monkey Park | © S. Alexis Flickr

Amanohashidate

Amanohashidate, located in northern Kyoto Prefecture, has been regarded as one of Japan’s three great views since ancient times. Nicknamed the ‘Bridge to Heaven’ because it looks like a pathway from heaven to earth, it is a pine covered sandbar that separates the Miyazu Bay from the Aso Sea.

Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Amanohashidate
Amanohashidate, The Bridge to Heaven | © Amaro-k Flickr
Panoramic View of Amanohashidate
Panoramic View of Amanohashidate | © Raita Futo Flickr