2023 Kyoto Kimono Experience: Photo Route from Yasaka Shrine to Kiyomizu Temple

Kyoto Kimono Experience

Let’s talk about the Kyoto Kimono experience and recommended photo routes today. Please note that starting in 2023, visitors to Japan will need to apply for the “Visit Japan Web” in order to declare customs and obtain a tax-free QR code. Our starting point for this experience is at Yasaka Shrine, where there are several Kyoto kimono shops nearby, such as Okamoto Kimono, Shiki Kimono, Okimono-ya, Wakana Kimono, HANA, Kazariya Workshop, and Gojo Mangekan, among many other options. You can explore each shop by clicking on their respective links for more information.

Choosing a kimono is all about personal preference. In addition to traditional kimonos and yukatas, young women can also try wearing hakama, which can increase their coolness factor by several notches. If you are unsure about which colors or patterns would be suitable for you, feel free to ask the shop assistants for advice – they will be more than happy to help. Once the women have chosen their outfits and started changing and styling their hair, men can take a half-hour break at a nearby café. From left to right, the outfits in the above photo are a kimono, a yukata, and a furisode with hakama.

Kyoto Kimono Photo Route

Yasaka Shrine, Sannen-zaka, Ninen-zaka, and Kiyomizu Temple are places that I always visit whenever I go to Kyoto. There isn’t any particular reason for this – I simply find it very pleasant to walk around those areas. I have walked those streets so many times that I can now easily find my way around without even looking at a map, and I can even navigate the Ishibei Koji at night without any issues. The first time I came to Kyoto many years ago, I also had my first kimono experience outside Kiyomizu Temple and took a stroll around the area. I felt that it was a great spot to experience wearing a kimono without having to wear it for too long.

This article aims to introduce our journey and share the locations where we took photographs. While photography techniques are not the subject of this article and I do not intend to provide guidance on taking pictures, I would like to highlight the places we visited on this trip. Please note that there are certainly many other great places to capture stunning photos, and unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to take photos inside Kiyomizu Temple during this trip, thus there are no images from inside to share. Please accept our apologies for this. Below is a travel route map, and if the image above is unclear, you can refer to the original high-resolution image in the cloud.

Kyoto Kimono Experience: Photo Route from Yasaka Shrine to Kiyomizu Temple

Yasaka Shrine – 八坂神社

The most popular spot for tourists at Yasaka Shrine is standing on the sidewalk and taking a photo of the main gate from below. The night before yesterday, while strolling around, I saw many families trying to take a group photo with the gate, stretching their arms to fit everyone into the frame. I couldn’t resist offering to help them take the photo. Additionally, there is a bustling intersection nearby that offers a great view of the shrine, especially at night when it is beautifully lit up. After taking a few photos at the gate, we entered the shrine and anticipated that there would be many people inside, so we headed to a less crowded spot beside the buildings to take a few more photos.

Maruyama Park – 圓山公園

Due to the crowds at Yasaka Shrine and a lack of inspiration for taking more photos, we decided to walk towards Maruyama Park located behind the shrine. This was our first time visiting the park, and we were pleasantly surprised by the beautiful flowers and greenery on display. It was the perfect place to take some scenic shots, and occasionally, we even stumbled upon some natural models posing for the camera.

Nene no Michi – 寧寧之道

Continuing along the Nene no Michi from Maruyama Park, although you’ll skip the Ishibei Koji alleyway, it’s a quiet residential area that’s not ideal for lingering too long. If interested, you can always come back to explore it later. There are a few spots to take photos on the Ningning Path, such as the former residence of a master carpenter and the site of the Imperial Guards’ barracks. However, these places are usually crowded, so you’ll need some luck to find a chance to take photos without people in them.

Ninensaka, Sansanzaka, Kiyomizudera – 二年坂、三年坂、清水寺

After following the Nene no Michi and transitioning onto the Path of Meiji Restoration, one arrives at the famous Ni-nen-zaka. Due to its popularity, the area is teeming with tourists and bustling shops. Unless one has a desire to indulge in some leisurely shopping, there is little need to linger for long. Climbing the stairs at Ni-nen-zaka and turning back provides an unobstructed view of the entire street. Continuing on, one reaches the ascending stairs of San-nen-zaka, which leads to Kiyomizu-dera Temple. It is recommended to first take a tour of Kiyomizu-dera Temple before taking a break at K36. In our case, we made the mistake of visiting K36 beforehand, and by the time we finished capturing photos of the temple against the backlight, the doors of Kiyomizu-dera Temple had already been closed. wwww

京都 K36 (The Bar & Rooftop)

After completing a tour of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, one may feel tired and in need of rest. Returning the rented kimono and walking back to Yasaka Shrine can also be quite exhausting. Why not take a break, sit down, and indulge in some food and drinks? During this trip, we discovered a lovely spot for afternoon tea called K36. Their rooftop terrace offers an unobstructed view of the Hachijou Tower of Hougan-ji Temple. When we went, there was no need to wait in line. However, when we finished and left, we noticed that a sizable queue had formed. It was a stroke of good luck on our part.

After visiting K36, if one happens to be there during sunset, it is an excellent opportunity to capture some backlit photos. However, most areas in the vicinity are obstructed by buildings. The only place where one can capture the backlit effect is at a parking lot near K36. Although the background of a parking lot may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, it’s still possible to capture the backlit effect by opening the aperture to its maximum, causing the background to blur and be less noticeable.

After taking pictures at the parking lot, one can walk back to Sannen-zaka and proceed towards Hōgan-ji Temple’s Hachijō Tower, where many people take photos. Then, return to Yasaka Shrine to change out of the rented kimono. Whether to walk back via Ninenzaka and Ishibei Kōji or to take the main road is up to personal preference. This concludes the route for our Kyoto kimono experience. We hope it will be helpful for those visiting for the first time. Please note that there are many places in Kyoto where photography is not allowed, so please pay attention to any signage you may come across.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on Instagram. If you like my style and would like to schedule a photoshoot, please send me a private message to inquire about my availability in Japan.

最後更新日期: 2023/05/08