Sannenzaka Ninenzaka

Attraction 三年坂・二年坂 Japan 〒605-0862 京都府京都市東山区清水2丁目 Published on: 03-04-2016

1 hours 30 mins
03:00 PM
04:30 PM
First-time visit
Must see
0.00 USD

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  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Sannenzaka and Ninenzakaare two of Kyoto’s most attractive streets, a pair of gently sloping lanes that lead down from Kiyomizu-dera Temple toward Nene-no-Michi Lane

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Why Sannenzaka Ninenzaka is special ?

Sannenzaka and Ninenzakaare two of Kyoto’s most attractive streets, a pair of gently sloping lanes that lead down from Kiyomizu-dera Temple toward Nene-no-Michi Lane

Lined with beautifully restored traditional shophouses and blissfully free of the overhead power lines that mar the rest of Kyoto, Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka are a pair of pedestrian-only lanes that make for some of the most atmospheric strolling in the whole city.

Just downhill from and slightly to the north of Kiyomizu-dera, you will find one of Kyoto’s loveliest restored neighbourhoods, the Ninen-zaka–Sannen-zaka area. The name refers to the two main streets of the area: Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka, literally ‘Two-Year Hill’ and ‘Three-Year Hill’ (the years referring to the ancient imperial years when they were first laid out). These two charming streets are lined with old wooden houses, traditional shops and restaurants.

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What to explore at Sannenzaka Ninenzaka?

Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka are surrounded by some of Kyoto's most famous sights, including Kiyomizu - dera Temple, Kodai - ji Temple and Yasaka - jinja Shrine.

Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka are two historic streets located at the far eastern edge of Kyoto in the Higashiyama area. The area is filled in with traditional wooden houses, many Kyotoesque shops in this area of town. Now mostly shops and ryokan (Japanese-style inns). The streets are mostly closed to traffic, partly beacuse each features a set of steep stairs.

These streets are surround by some of Kyoto's most famous sites including Gion, Kiyomizudera Temple, Kodaiji Temple and Yasaka Shrine

How to get to Sannenzaka Ninenzaka?

From Kyoto Station take bus number 100 or 206 in direction of Kiyomizudera. The Higashiyama district can be accessed from multiple bus stops between the Gojozaka (10 minutes, JPY.230 - $ 2 one way) and Gion (15 minutes, JPY.230 - $2 ) bus stops.

Alternatively, the district can be reached in a 10-15 minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station or Gion-Shijo Station along the Keihan Line, from Kawaramachi Station along the Hankyu Line or from Higashiyama Station along the Tozai Subway Line.

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Selling points

  • What Kyoto looked like in centuries past
  • Fun for a morning/afternoon stroll - a must while in Kyoto!
  • Wander, people-watch, shop, and eat between temple hopping!
  • Tradition and history at its best!
  • Perfect place to buy authentic Japanese handmade crafts and sweets.
4 Days 3 Nights in Kyoto

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4.0 days
181.16 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
20 places




三年坂・二年坂 Japan 〒605-0862 京都府京都市東山区清水2丁目

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Tips for you

  • They have a number of stalls selling hot food and gifts with the same price as everywhere else in the city
  • There are many pretty (and expensive) souvenir shops all in old wooden houses.
  • You can see several locals (and tourists) dress in kimonos or yukatas with white painted face, redish smile
    What to see
  • If you can find it heading down hill just after Ninenzaka starts is a small tearoom offering black tea, muffins and cheesecake
  • Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka are steep, so some people may not want to (or be able to) walk up them, but if you can, it is a great way to experience traditional Kyoto as you head to the historic Kiyomizu Temple or just walk along and browse through the shops. It would be crowded during weekend . Just follow the crowd, it's easy to access. You should go here early in the morning or late afternoon before the sunset
  • During cherry blossom season, these two hills will be utterly crammed with people. In this season (and any other time of year), an evening stroll is highly recommended. You should walk downward from Kiyamizu-dera (start from Sannenzaka), so the journey is an effortless down-hill walk.
  • It’s better to have good shoes on though as there are so many steps up and down and in every direction
    What to wear
  • While you are here, you should visit Kiyomizu-dera temple which is at the top of the hill.
    Things nearby
  • Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka are streets leading to Kiyomizu-dera


TripAdvisor View more

This is our favourite place in Kyoto. Lovely streets lined with shops and some restaurants. Everything is kept in the old-style as Japan once was. It's like stepping back in time. Many (japanese) tourists also show up dressed in traditional clothes. There's even a bunch of places that will dress you up, in case you want (for money of course). It's just lovely to stroll around these streets, having a look at some arts and crafts and sample some candies and desserts. Of course it is a touristy place, but it really kept its charm and never feels too much. Your best bet is to get here quite early (not too early....shops open around 10 or 11am) or to show up in the late afternoon (around 4 or 5pm). When you are here, you're probably on the way to the Kiyomizu-dera Temple...another must-see with great views over the city....and the same here: come early or late. So, these streets are an absolute must-do....a look at the traditional old-time Japan. If you're hungry, the Kamanza Shimizu Ninenzaka restaurant has good Soba noodles and eel. And in the Entokuin temple you can do a private 20min tea ceremony for only 500 yen. Wanna know more about me and my trips? Check my profile (with a link to my website)

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