Discover temples and tombs, and find a tea bowl bargain in the Yamashina area of southeast Kyoto. This historical area is located along a route connecting Kyoto and Nara, two important capital cities in japan‘s history. Nara was the capital before Kyoto, and the Narakaido Highway, linking the two cities, played a significant role for centuries. In addition to its historical significance, Yamashina is also famous for its pottery, particularly Kiyomizuyaki pottery, which includes tea bowls, beautifully decorated wares for everyday use, plates, and even coffee cups.
One of the prominent attractions in Yamashina is Daigoji Temple, which dominates the landscape of the area. This temple is located on Mt. Daigo and is one of the largest temples in Kyoto. With over 90 buildings sprawling up the mountain, Daigoji Temple offers a breathtaking sight. It was founded in the ninth century and has a rich history. In the 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a prominent figure in Japanese history, held a cherry blossom viewing party at the temple.
Visiting Daigoji Temple is an opportunity to hike to the top of the mountain, where Kami-Daigo is located. Although it requires some effort, the climb is worth it as it offers solitude and a magnificent view. The temple is best known for its five-storied pagoda, which is the oldest structure in Kyoto, built in 951. The pagoda’s architectural beauty and historical significance make it a must-visit attraction in Yamashina.
Apart from its temples and tombs, Yamashina is also known as the center of Kyoto’s pottery community. The area has been home to pottery communities since the 15th and 16th centuries. Kiyomizuyaki pottery, also known as Kiyomizu Ware, is a delicate and colorful art form that originated in the 16th century and is still practiced today. The pottery is known for its intricate designs and vivid colors, making it highly sought after by collectors and art enthusiasts worldwide.
One of the best times to explore Yamashina’s pottery scene is during the Kiyomizuyaki no Sato Matsuri, a local festival celebrated on the third Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of October. During this festival, affordable pottery can be found, and the streets are filled with vendors selling their wares. The festival atmosphere, combined with the opportunity to purchase unique and beautiful pottery, makes it a popular event for both locals and tourists.
To reach Yamashina, you can easily access it by train from JR Kyoto Station. Simply take the JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line (Biwako Line) to Yamashina Station, which is just one stop away. The convenient transportation options make it easily accessible for those staying in Kyoto or nearby cities.
Yamashina has a rich historical background as a crossroads for various important routes. In addition to being part of the Narakaido Highway, it was also a stop on the Tokaido Road, which connected Kyoto and Osaka with Edo (now Tokyo). The Tokaido Shinkansen and Tokaido Mainline still bear the name of this historical route. Yamashina is home to numerous tombs of important historical figures, including Emperor Tenji, Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, and Emperor Daigo. The tomb of Emperor Tenji is the oldest Imperial tomb in Kyoto, adding to the area’s historical significance.
In terms of accommodation and amenities, Yamashina offers a variety of options for visitors. There are hotels and ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) that provide comfortable and authentic experiences. Additionally, there are numerous restaurants and shops in the area, allowing visitors to explore the local cuisine and purchase souvenirs.
Overall, the Yamashina area in Kyoto is a treasure trove of historical sites, breathtaking temples, and a thriving pottery community. Whether you’re interested in exploring the rich history of the area, hiking to the top of Mt. Daigo, or discovering unique pottery pieces, Yamashina offers something for everyone. Its convenient location and accessibility make it a must-visit destination for those exploring Kyoto and its surrounding areas. Take the time to immerse yourself in the beauty and cultural significance of Yamashina, and you won’t be disappointed.
Address And Maps Location:
Yamashina-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu