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Chasing mystery in Kyoto

Photos of famous (and lesser-known) sites from a city that was Japan's imperial, cultural and religious capital for more than a millennium.


Chasing mystery in Kyoto

  • 21 Pins

Nighttime on 先斗町 (Ponto-Cho), a pedestrian alley lined with cafes, bars and Old World Japanese tea houses. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

先斗町 (Ponto-Cho)

Neighborhood

Looking for the secrets of Kyoto

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The Kyoto Tower from Kyoto Train Station. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

Kyoto Train Station

Platform

下京区東塩小路町,東塩小路高倉町
京都市 , 京都府

Looking for the secrets of Kyoto

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A stand selling octopus balls outside the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine)

Shrine

伏見区深草藪之内町68
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-641-7331

The brass temple bell at Hoko-ji, a 16th century temple in the Higashiyama Ward of Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

豊国神社

Shrine

茶屋町530
, 京都府

House for the brass temple bell at Hoko-ji temple in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

豊国神社

Shrine

茶屋町530
, 京都府

Shrine and fountain at Rengeoin Sanjusangendo temple in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

三十三間堂 (Sanjūsangen-dō)

Buddhist Temple

三十三間堂廻り町657
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-561-0467

The main gate at Rengeoin Sanjusangendo, a temple in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

三十三間堂 (Sanjūsangen-dō)

Buddhist Temple

三十三間堂廻り町657
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-561-0467

The ancient three-story pagoda at the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

清水寺 (Kiyomizu-dera Temple)

Buddhist Temple

東山区清水1-294
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-551-1234

Visitors walk among the thousands of shrine gates at the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine)

Shrine

伏見区深草藪之内町68
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-641-7331

Visitors walk among the thousands of shrine gates at the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine)

Shrine

伏見区深草藪之内町68
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-641-7331

Looking for the secrets of Kyoto

sfgate.com

The Mieido hall at the Chion-in temple in Kyoto, one of the more popular attractions for both Japanese and foreign visitors. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

知恩院 (Chion-in Temple)

Buddhist Temple

東山区林下町400
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-531-2111

Visitors are dwarfed by the three-story pagoda at the popular Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton, The Chronicle

清水寺 (Kiyomizu-dera Temple)

Buddhist Temple

東山区清水1-294
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-551-1234

Looking for the secrets of Kyoto

sfgate.com

Some of the thousands of orange torii (shrine gates) at the Fushimi Inari Taisha in southern Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton, The Chronicle

伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine)

Shrine

伏見区深草藪之内町68
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-641-7331

A photographer tries to capture the ancient Karamon Gate into the Toyokuni Shrine. Photo: Spud Hilton, The Chronicle

豊国神社

Shrine

茶屋町530
, 京都府

Visitors to the Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple in Kyoto sip sacred water from a spring fountain that is supposed to bring good fortune. Photo...

清水寺 (Kiyomizu-dera Temple)

Buddhist Temple

東山区清水1-294
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-551-1234

A stone marks a sub-temple on the hillside above the Nanzen-ji Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton, The Chronicle

大本山 南禅寺(瑞龍山 太平興国南禅禅寺) (Nanzen-ji Temple)

Buddhist Temple

左京区南禅寺福地町86
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-771-0365

Chefs at Hiranoya Hoten restaurant in Kyoto have been making the signature ebi imo and bodara (shrimp potatoes and dried cod), or just "imob...

円山公園 (Maruyama Park)

Park

東山区円山町
京都市 , 京都府

The Hondo (main hall) and stage at Kiyomizu-dera were built in the 17th century without a single nail. Photo: Spud Hilton, The Chronicle

清水寺 (Kiyomizu-dera Temple)

Buddhist Temple

東山区清水1-294
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-551-1234

Looking for the secrets of Kyoto

sfgate.com

Pilgrims and tourists walk corridors made up of thousands of torii (shrine gates) at the Fushimi Inari Taisha south of Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hi...

伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine)

Shrine

伏見区深草藪之内町68
京都市 , 京都府

+81 75-641-7331

Issen Yoshoku restaurant is a popular late-night hangout, with wacky decor, plaques with dirty jokes, a mannequin at each table to keep dine...

Issen Yoshoku

An okonomiyaki dish called issen yoshoku is the only dish on the menu at Issen Yoshoku restaurant. Photo: Spud Hilton, The Chronicle

Issen Yoshoku

Looking for the secrets of Kyoto

sfgate.com