Photo By: Matthew Coslett
Region
Kansai
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Kyoto
Population
2,644,331

Keage Incline (Kyoto)

Like the rest of Kyoto, Keage incline is full of history and fascinating places to explore.

When Kyoto was modernizing, one of the casualties of the rapid expansion was the Keage area in Higashiyama. Historically used for transporting everything from produce to ship-building materials between Shiga and Kyoto, the area has recently become more famous for Nanzen-ji Temple and its art museum than its transportation links.

A cherry blossom hotspot

Photo by: WikiCommons/Moja Walk through a cherry blossom tunnel.

The remnants of its former days are all around the area on the train tracks that have now fallen into disrepair. What is left of the train lines has become a popular photography spot, especially during the hanami (cherry blossom viewing) period when the area becomes a tunnel of colorful bloom.

The halfway point

Photo by: WikiCommons/ KimonBerlin Like many neglected places, the disrepair is part of the charm.

Halfway up the slope is an abandoned transport cradle brought to life by the wooden barrels of sake—a common trade item with Shiga—mounted on it. Similarly, at the top of the slope is the remains of a tube used initially to transport water from Shiga’s Lake Biwa.

Like many neglected places, the disrepair is part of the charm here; everything has a distinct feeling of authenticity and being well-used. Reminders of its former affluence are littered throughout the incline, allowing the visitor to feel what the area must have been like in its glory days.

Views from the top

Photo by: WikiCommons/Asturio Cantabrio What awaits you.

At the top of the incline is a small body of water that attracts birds year-round and leads to a small slope into the nearby hills. At the top of this path is a small shrine celebrating Awano Iwato, the cave where a goddess hid out, according to legend, that is linked to Mie’s famous Ise Jingu shrine.

While you are unlikely to see any goddesses in the Kyoto version, the modest shrine does offer a view of the surrounding area. On the other hand, going down the slope will lead to a fenced-off abandoned power plant with pipes peeking out of the foliage.

Like the rest of Kyoto, Keage incline is full of history and fascinating places to explore.

How To Get There

Address

By train

From Kyoto station take the Karasuma line to Karasumaoike and transfer to the Touzai line. Get off a Keage station, and the incline is about a 10-15-minute walk from the station.

By bus

Take Bus 204 to Okazaki Jinja-mae station from there it’s a 10-15-minute walk from the incline.


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