Vermillion lanterns in the snow

Places to Go in Snowy Kyoto

The old capital rarely gets lots of snow, but when it does, it is scenery that you should not miss. Kyoto is known for its cold weather during winter. Most people prefer staying indoors in the comfort of the kotatsu, warming themselves. But when the snow falls, it is time to get out of your comfort zone and start to hunt for photo opportunities!


The first place that is worth a visit in the snow is Kifune Shrine. Located in the northern part of Kyoto, the shrine has a light-up or illumination event in winter (January to February). It feels really magical to climb up the stairs surrounded by lanterns and gaze at the shrine covered in white. To keep visitors warm, they also have a small bonfire and a lounge with a mini-heater.


For those who prefer to visit the shrine in the morning, it offers you a view of the winter wonderland. Ride the Eizan Line and admire the white and blue scenery along your way to the shrine. Kifune Shrine can be reached by the Eizan Line to Kibuneguchi Station. From the station, take a 5-minute bus ride (160 yen) or walk for about 30 minutes.

Photo by Johanes Jefry Prasetyo

Photo by Johanes Jefry Prasetyo

Photo by Johanes Jefry Prasetyo

Photo by Johanes Jefry Prasetyo

The next popular place in the snow is Kinkaku-ji Temple. This place is always crowded throughout the year, yet during snowy days the number of visitors is higher than usual. People are seen lining up to capture the beauty of the golden temple covered in pristine white. However, lining up for a glimpse of the snowy Kinkaku-ji is worth it. It is not every year that you get a chance to witness the white and gold merged into one.

Photo by Yulia Andriani Rosdiana

Photo by Yulia Andriani Rosdiana

Other than the shrine and the temple, you might want to visit the road that leads to Ginkaku-ji Temple, also known as the Ginkaku-ji michi. Even though it is less iconic compared to the previous spots mentioned, this road is a hidden gem on snowy days.



Thick snow covers the road that is surrounded by trees, with small canals in the middle. A simple, yet impressive view.

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