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Western Kyoto 洛西

Western Kyōto is often overlooked by visitors — both domestic and foreign alike. Very hard to access with public transport, this area is home to some of the city’s most-outstanding temples.

In Ōharano (大原野), not to be confused with the northern town of Ōhara, Shōbō-ji (正法寺), a mountainside settlement to the west of present-day Mukō City, Shōji-ji ( aka the “flower temple” 勝持寺), and Ōharano Shrine (大原野神社) offer some of the best cherry blossoms to be found in Kyōto.
A bit south, deep in the mountain, lie Yoshimine-dera (善峯寺), a vast temple with spectacular views over the city, or Yōkoku-ji (楊谷寺), a temple with spectacular maple foliage.


Easier to reach by train, nearby Mukō (向日) and Nagaoka (長岡), a temporary capital in the 7th century before the establishment of contemporary Kyōto, are home to a vast bamboo grove, Kōmyō-ji (光明寺) and its maple foliage, or the Nagaoka Tenman Shrine (長岡天満宮).


Cherry blossoms at Shōbō-ji.

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