See old machiya townhouses and stone bridges by the Shirakawa River
The Shrikawa River is one of the main rivers of Kyoto, starting from Heian Shrine all the way to the north part of Gion. The best place to view Kyoto’s rivers and town houses together is in a place five minutes walking distance from Keihan Shijo station, by Shirakawa Minami Street. In addition, after a short walk to the north there is Chion-in Temple, offering a different type of scenery. At even intervals there are stone bridges over the river for the convenience of the people living here. If you keep walking north you will get to the subway Tozai Line Higashiyama station, so you can enjoy a walk between the two stations.
Tatsumi Bridge Surrounded by Cherry Blossoms
Tatsumi Bridge is a symbol of Shirakawa Minami Street. It is a great place for taking photos especially in the spring when the sakura blossoms make the scene look like a painting. On the other side of the bridge there is a café called Gion Komori, famous for their matcha sundaes. If they happen to have seats available, how about eating a sundae while looking at the beautiful scenery!
A Relaxing View of the River
After walking to toward north from Gion for about 5 minutes, you will see this scenery. I would recommend you sit on the bench you can see at the corner of the picture. You should be able to relax listening to the susurration of the river. When it is summer you can see neighborhood kids playing by the river and get a glimpse of the everyday life of the locals.
Take a Stroll on Shirakawa Minami Street
The Tatsumi Bridge is on Shirakawa Minami Street. If you go down the stone pavement you can see on the photo you will get to the Kamo River. You can see machiya style town houses from between the cherry trees lining the road. The scene is sure to captivate you. Many maiko also walk on this street, so if you see one maybe you can get your picture taken with them!
Walk the Ippon bridge
The Ippon Bridge is a really narrow bridge near Chion-in Temple. Monks who have finished the most demanding pilgrimage in Japan, which takes seven years to finish, cross this bridge after finishing the pilgrimage. The bridge has no handrails so it is a bit scary to cross it, but it is also fun. How about having your picture taken on the bridge?
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -
The area around Shirakawa River is a designated historic preservation area. Take your trash with you, and keep the area clean for your next visit to Kyoto.
3.0 experience3.0 access3.0 photogenic3.0
3.8 experience3.5 access4.0 photogenic4.0
Shirakawa River / 白川
|Address||Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu|
|Directions||・Gion area (Gion shirakawa minami street): 5-minute walk from Keihan Line Gion Shijo Stn. ・Near Chion-in Temple area: 3-minute walk from Kyoto Subway Tozai Line Higashiyama Stn.|
|Open Hours||Does not close|
|Closed||Does not close|
It is easily accessible, and there are a lot to see nearby such as Yasaka shrine and Nanzen-ji temple. It’s recommended for taking pictures.
|Lanuages spoken||No staff at the location|