It’s time for the final part of our epic Kyoto stroll!

Welcome back to SoraNews24’s no-bus, all-walking sightseeing guide to Kyoto. To recap, we put this one-day walking route together in response to Kyoto’s increasingly overcrowded buses, which were, once upon a time, the most convenient way to make the rounds of the city’s temples, shrines, and other sightseeing attractions.

Since we’re focusing on the route, we’re including a ton of sights along the way, more than you could comfortably fit in spending time inside of all on the same day. It’s always nice to have plenty of options, though, especially since the final choice of which spots to head inside of will depend on your personal preferences and any prior experience you may have traveling in Kyoto, and whether you want to revisit places you’ve been before or focus on new ones.

So far, in Parts 1, 2, and 3, we’ve covered five segments of our course, which started at Kyoto Station at 7 o’clock in the morning:
● Kyoto Station to Fushimi Inari Shrine
● Fushimi Inari Shrine to Kiyomizudera Temple
● Kiyomizudera Temple to Nanzenji Temple
● Nanzenji Temple to Shimogamo Shrine
● Shimogamo Shrine to Higashi Honganji Temple

In this article, we’ll be covering the sixth, and final, part of the route.

Section 6: Higashi Honganji Temple to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

We left off at Higashi Honganji Temple (seen in the above photo), having arrived there at 1:30 in the afternoon. Our next stop was Byodoji Temple (平等寺), a stately looking structure nestled among office buildings, demonstrating just how entwined Kyoto’s history is with present-day life in the city.

▼ Walking route from Higashi Honganji to Byodoji

Continuing north brings us to Rokkakudo (六角堂), which translates to “six-sided hall” and refers to the unique hexagonal shape of the temple’s main building.

While we’re in the neighborhood, let’s swing by the Kyoto International Manga Museum

…and then Nijo Castle (二条城), Nijo Castle exhibits some distinctive traits among Japanese castles. Built after the end of the most intense fighting of Japan’s centuries-long Sengoku period civil wars, Nijo Castle was primarily designed as a comfortable estate for the shogun to stay in when visiting Kyoto, not as a fortress, and so it has a lower, more palatial layout than the typical tower-centered castle.

▼ Outer edge of Nijo Castle grounds

Swinging back to the south gets us to Hokkeji Temple (法華寺)

…and after one last strolling spurt, we’re at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), the final stop on our no-bus Kyoto route!

So what were the final time and step tallies for the whole thing, all segments from start to finish? We started walking at Kyoto Station at 7 a.m., and it was 3:19 in the afternoon when we got to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine for a total of 8 hours and 19 minutes. As for our steps…

…we took 43,007 of them! So yeah, we defiantly weren’t going to feel guilty about treating ourselves to some of Kyoto’s famous matcha green tea sweets after all that exercise.

Before we wrap things up we should say, once again, that we don’t necessarily recommend you do this whole walking course in one day. Not that we’re going to try to talk you out of it, either. If you’re into super-long walks, feel free to go crazy and do it all in one day! But most people will tell you that a Kyoto trip is most enjoyable when you slow down and give yourself time to stop and soak up the atmosphere at a smaller number of sites, rather than rushing to see as many as possible. Because of that, we suggest using our guide not as a strict itinerary, but as a resource to help you avoid the stress of Kyoto’s crowded buses while also getting to see it from a local, on-foot perspective. Do as many of the segments as strike your interest and fit within your preferred travel tempo.

Happy walking, and maybe we’ll see each other out there on our next Kyoto walk.

Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!