Getting Oriented in Kyoto

Central Kyoto is fairly compact and easily navigable. Its grid layout, originally modeled on Xi'an, in China, makes this Japan's most rational urban space. Karasuma-dori bisects Kyoto Station in the middle of the city. East of the Kamogawa River, Higashiyama holds many popular sights, all connected by the congested Higashi-oji-dori.

  • Eastern Kyoto. Higashiyama abounds with temples and shrines.
  • Central Kyoto. Here are most hotels, the business district, and the Kiyamachi entertainment area.
  • Southern Kyoto. Home to the Fushimi-Inari Taisha shrine. The tea-producing city of Uji shares a border with Kyoto.
  • Western Kyoto. This neighborhood includes many temples and gardens.
  • Arashiyama. The Katsura Imperial Villa, the Tenryu-ji Temple, and riverside parks are here.
  • Northern Kyoto. Home to the Buddhist enclave Enryaku-ji atop Mt. Hiei and the countryside of Ohara.

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