If you want to see a bit of “classic Japan” or “classic Kyoto,” then walking the streets of Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka is something you will probably want to highly consider!
And if you’ll be headed to the UNESCO world heritage site of Kiyomizu-dera Temple…
Then these famous streets are also worth a visit.
From the temple, it’s about a 5-10 minute walk, so you might as well check it out!
This area can be good for seeing some traditional Japanese architecture, finding some Japan souvenirs and gifts, and you can even take part in a tea ceremony.
This area is not that big, so if you were doing a point to point walk, you could probably do it in 15-20 minutes.
It’ll probably take you longer since you might want to make some stops along the way.
But if you’re planning out your Kyoto itinerary and you’re wondering how much time you might spend at Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka, it can be good to give yourself at least 30 minutes, possibly a lot longer depending on what you want to do!
You may also consider going to these streets along the way on a walk from Gion to Kiyomizudera Temple, or in the opposite direction!
Japanese language tip: SLOPE or HILL
On its own, saka in Japanese means slope or hill.
In this case of attaching to another word, saka usually becomes zaka.
So the zaka part of Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka means slope.
And, you really will be walking up or down a hill when doing this walk!
Ninenzaka slope and Sannenzaka slope as part of a one day Kyoto itinerary
I made Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka a part of my day with an unlimited one day Kyoto bus pass:
- Nijo Castle (+ teahouse)
- Kinkakuji Temple
- Ryoanji Temple
- Yasaka Shrine
- Gion to Kiyomizu-dera walk (with Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka)
- Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Here’s a bit of what you’ll see walking the slopes of Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka!
Tea ceremony in Kyoto
If you’re wanting to be a part of a tea ceremony when you’re in Kyoto, this area can be a good place to do so as well.
How much does a tea ceremony cost?
The prices for a Nagomi tea ceremony can range from 2,000 yen to 2,500 yen (US$20-25), depending on how many people are in your group.
These prices are as of summer 2018.
You can also have a tea experience in Kyoto at the Nijo Castle teahouse! This could be a cheaper option if you just want the experience of mixing your own tea drink if you already have plans to visit the Nijo Castle. It would be a do-it-yourself kind of thing.
Where to buy your Japan souvenirs and gifts in Kyoto
There are shops along Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka that can also make this area the PERFECT place to shop for your Japan souvenirs!
You’ll be able to find lots of places that sell traditional Japanese items just by walking on these streets.
HAPPY WALKING THE NINENZAKA AND SANNENZAKA SLOPES!
Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto with Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka!
- Day 1: Top tourist spots with one day bus pass
- Day 2: Fushimi Inari Shrine hike through 1,000 torii gates
- Day 3: Philosopher’s Path walk
- Day 4: Arashiyama and Sagano
- Day 5: Kurama Kibune Ohara with one day pass
How to spend winter in Japan
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
Among the top 3 things people get specific for a trip to Japan
- JR pass for quick and easy long distance train travel (see price here and see here how to calculate train routes to figure out it's worth it for you)
- Pocket wifi to make travel in Japan easier (see price here)
- Travel insurance for natural disasters just in case especially for travel disruptions (see price here and see here for past natural disaster that affected foreigners)