Kyoto is a historic city full of temples and shrine. One area to shop and experience a traditional looking area is Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka in Higashiyama. This special pedestrian only area is between Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Yasaka Shrine. With so many little souviner shops and restaurants, you could spend the whole day here. This area is designate as a Traditional Architectures Preservation District.
Enjoy the atmosphere of what Kyoto used to look like. The traditional wooden buildings add another layer of amazement. The stairs can be a little step, so be cautious while walking up.
Ninen-zaka means two year slope, it was named this in 807. Sannen-zaka means three year slope, the wife of Hideyoshi Toyotomi walked up the steps to Kiyomizu-dera Temple to pray for the birth of a child. She lived in Kodaiji Temple until her death in 1624. There is a strange myth, if you fall down the steps of Ninen-zaka you are supposed to dies in two years.
Within the Higashiyama district, one exciting event to see is the Higashiyama Hanatoro. Along a 5 km walking path, there is over 2,500 lanterns decorating and illuminating the historic area. Starting from the north side, start at Shoren-in Temple and Maruyama Park. To the south there is Yasaka Shrine to Kiyomizu-dera Temple. The lanterns provide soft lighting with a calming atmosphere while walking around. The Ikebana Promenade displays amazing flower arrangements that will definitely amaze. This event is from March 3 to March 12, 2017.
If you are ever in Kyoto, this is a must visit area. The beauty of the temple and shrines, the history, and the food are just some of the many reasons to visit.
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Ninen-zaka and Sanen-zaka
Address: 2 Shimizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Access: 20 minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station
Phone: 075-561-7407 (Higashiyama Ward Office)
Website: Ninen-zaka and Sanen-zaka