Travel Guide

If you want to have lots of fun in Kyoto, you cannot miss Sanneizaka, the representative walking trail in Kyoto. Along the stone paved path are Kyoto cuisine restaurant, stores which sell Kyoto specialties and various boutiques. Among them are the old houses which make visitors feel the atmosphere of the old capital. Sanneizaka is the Traditional Building Preservation Area.

Sanneizaka also referred to as Sannenzaka (3 year hill). There are many saying about the origin of the name Sanneizaka but the majority is that because the path leads Koyasu-no-to (pagoda) which people can pray for giving birth safely. “San” means production and "nei" means easy in Japanese. It is said that in 8th century (before the foundation of Kiyomizudera Temple), Emperor Shomu and the queen prayed for giving birth safely here. Emperor Koken was born safely, the Koyasu-no-to was built in Kiyomizudera Temple.

Sanneizaka dates back to before the Heian-kyo was founded. It was widely known because it was close to famous temples such as Kiyomizudera Temple, Hokanji Temple and Yazakajinja Temple. After Edo period, streets around the temples gradually developed as a town and Kyomachiya (traditional Kyoto residence) still can be seen at Sanneizaka. The district expanded in Meiji and Taisho period and most of the buildings were built after the Meiji era.

Among many walking trails, Kiyomizuzaka is the main path leading to Kiyomizudera Temple and Sanneizaka connects the Kiyomizuzaka and Kiyomizudera Temple. Additional information is, the path from Sanneizaka to Enzan Park is called Ninenzaka (2 year hill), and the path for Simokawara is called Ichinenzaka (1 year hill).

Located in Sanneizaka, Seiryuen is a shopping area which houses Tsukemono, coffee and other famous shops in Kyoto. Japanese cuisine restaurant, Japanese garden, Japanese traditional house such as Kyomachiya and Sukiya are also attractive attractions. Originally Seiryuen was a Japanese restaurant Akebono where persons with great motivation gather at the end of Tokugawa shogunate.

Sanneizaka - Shop Sanneizaka - Shop Sanneizaka - Shop Hyotanya
Shop Shop Shop Hyotanya

Travel Advice


The legend of Sanneizaka

It is said that if you fall down at Sanneizaka, then you will die within 3 years. Some says that the name Sanneizaka (3 year hill) comes from this story. The other saying is that when people fall down then the life will shorten 3 years. The purpose of these legends is to remind those who are pregnant must be careful on the way to Koyasu-no-to. If you fall down, you can purchase gourd at Hyotanya which is located at the beginning of the Sanneizaka. Gourd has the meaning of "it gets up by itself”. By buying the gourd, people can avoid bad luck. Originally the gourd was used to take water at Otowa Falls but now it is regarded as a mascot.



Address Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Phone 075-752-0227 (Kyoto Tourist Assosiation)
Admission Free  
Hours Free time  
Closed Open 7 Days a Week
Duration 30 minutes
Getting There By Train
Take City Bus No.206 from JR Kyoto Station to the Kiyomizu-michi bus stop, then walk approximately 10 minutes.
20 minute walk from Kiyomizu-gojo Station on Keihan Electric Railway Keihan Honsen.

By Car
Take Meishin Expressway to the Kyoto-higashi exit. It is approximately 15 minutes from exit.
Parking No parking available

Attractions in Japan