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Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka Slopes Start

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0826, Japan

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Chaiya
Local tour guide
"During your visit to the Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes in Kyoto, be sure to pop into the lesser-known teahouses and shops on the parallel streets, as they often have more authentic and less crowded experiences than the main path. Also, visit just after sunrise or before sunset to enjoy the historic atmosphere without the usual tourist crowds, as the slopes offer a beautiful and serene experience when they're quiet."

What is Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes?

Kyoto is a city that enchants you with its balance of the traditional and the modern, and nowhere is this harmony more apparent than in the historic Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes. These stone-paved paths, lined with traditional wooden buildings, teahouses, and charming souvenir shops, provide a walk straight out of the Edo period. Sannenzaka (Three-Year Slope) and Ninenzaka (Two-Year Slope) are often referred to collectively as they lead visitors through the atmospheric Higashiyama district towards the famed Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

Ever walked down a street and felt as if you've been swept back centuries? Here, each step on the weathered stones is like a footfall in history itself. It's not just a route but an immersive experience that transports one into the heart of old Kyoto, a must for anyone truly seeking the soul of the city.

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History of Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes

The Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes are as historical as they come—steeped in the lore of Kyoto. These paths were originally part of the approach to Kiyomizu-dera, one of the most ancient and celebrated temples in Kyoto. Established in the 8th century, the slopes have witnessed the comings and goings of pilgrims, samurai, merchants, and travelers throughout the ages. As commerce flourished during the Edo period, the area developed into a busy quarter full of shops and tea houses catering to temple visitors.

There's a charming yet unfounded local legend that says if one were to stumble on the Sannenzaka Slope, misfortune would befall them for three years; hence the cautious tread of many who walk these storied inclines. Even in the modern day, locals still pay heed to this old superstition, giving the place an added layer of cultural significance.

Why is Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes Important?

The significance of Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka lies in their remarkable preservation, offering a window to a bygone era. As you meander down these lanes, you see the meticulous care Kyoto takes to protect its heritage. The slopes are extremely important for maintaining the city's historic atmosphere, crucial to Kyoto's identity as the cultural heart of Japan.

Furthermore, these slopes are a living heritage site. Unlike museums, where artifacts sit behind glass, Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka are part of the active, breathing city. They provide a tactile connection to the past; I often tell visitors that by just walking here, they are partaking in a centuries-old tradition of pilgrimage and local life.

Things to Do & See at Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes

Ah, the myriad of experiences awaiting you on these historic slopes! For starters, you must visit the traditional shops and tea houses – some of which have been serving matcha and wagashi (Japanese sweets) for generations. The aromas and flavors here are as rich as the history.

Don't miss the chance to pick up unique Kyoto handicrafts and souvenirs; from delicate Kiyomizu pottery to hand-folded fans and intricate kimonos. Every item has a story, much like the slopes themselves. And do make time to admire the architectural beauty of the wooden machiya (townhouses) that hark back to a different epoch. The attention to detail in their construction is nothing short of artistic mastery.

  • Visit a traditional tea house and savor authentic Japanese green tea and sweets.
  • Shop for unique local crafts, textiles, and pottery handcrafted by Kyoto artisans.
  • Admire the historic machiya buildings, some of which are now converted into quaint cafes and guesthouses.
  • Capture the picturesque beauty of the stone-paved slopes, especially during cherry blossom season or in the gentle glow of lanterns at dusk.
  • Explore the nooks and crannies filled with small temples, shrines, and hidden gardens that dot the area.

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Frequently asked questions

What are Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes?

Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes are traditional streets in Kyoto, known for their historic atmosphere and preserved architecture. They are popular walking routes that lead to the Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

Where are the Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes located in Kyoto?

The Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes are located in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto, a short walk from the famous Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

What can I see and do at Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes?

Visitors can enjoy browsing through a variety of traditional shops, sampling local snacks and sweets, taking photos of the historic buildings, and experiencing the old-world charm of Kyoto on these slopes.

Are there any specific visiting hours for Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes?

As public streets, Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes are open to visit at any time. However, shop and restaurant hours may vary, typically opening around 10 am and closing in the evening.

Is there an entry fee to walk through Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes?

No, there is no entry fee required to walk through Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Slopes as they are public streets accessible to everyone.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0826, Japan

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps