Kyomi Toge & Himuro 京見峠・氷室

Takagamine & Western Nishigamo ) in Kita-ku  北区・鷹ヶ峰(西賀茂)
    ** Kyomi Toge & Himuro  京見峠・氷室                        
 ** Kyomi toge ( Pass / Drive ) 京見峠
** Introduction :  Kyomi-toge is a mountainous drive which runs in the north / west of Kita-ku located in the west of Nishigamo area. In another way called Nagasaka Toge. ( Toge = Mountainous pass or drive ). On the road map it is located in the north of Route 31 ( Nishijin-saka line ). It is known as one of the best scenic spots to view the city of Kyoto from a place of altitude 446 meters ( 446 meters above the sea level ).
 This road runs across the area called Nishigamo Yaritogi-iwa ( a kind of rock formation unique to Nishigamo ) and Omiya Shakadani area. Back in history the place was a fort with an observation point to overlook the battlefield in wartime. In times after Onin war ( 15th century ) a sloping hill of Nagasaka was established ( Nagasaka stands for " long sloping hill " ). The sloping hill was connected to a central point of old-time castle of military base called " Yamashiro = mountain castle ". The place is located on the top of Himuro area.


( Kyoto hiking Trail Kitayama Mountain Point 68 )
 This point is very close to a point where the road is divided in 2 ways. This point is called Himuro Split. 氷室別れ.  It is easier to explain from Shozan route. Right before you come to this split you will see a very old tea house of Himro on your left. 
 It is called Kyomi-Toge tea House built more than 400 years ago, but now they have moved to uji and this one has already been closed. In rare opportunity you might be able to have a look at inside with permission of its owner. You can see hives of Giant Hornets hanging up beneath the roof.

 You will get to the point 68 which is called the viewing spot of ( Kyomi-Toge = Kyomi Mountain Path ). This Hiking Trail 68 is a gate way to a trail that leads to Sawanoike Pond.  
This spot has been introduced by the official website of ( Kyoto Alpine Leage = Kyoto Mountaineering League ).

 This area is also connected to Mt. Akiba and Shakadani.  
Page-LinkOmiya Mt. Akiba Hiking  大宮秋葉山ハイキング
   ( Connected to Funayama & Kyomi Toge )
 Kitayama 67-1 : Himuro Wakare ( Split between Sugisaka & Himuro ) 氷室別れ    
 This is a point where the road splits in 2 ways.
( Left ) toward Sugisaka. ( Funamizu point + Dofu Shrine + Sugisaka - Nakagawa - Takao )
( Right ) : toward Himuro ( You will go down the hill all the way to Humuro-cho from here )

2.3 km to 杉坂 Sugisaka / 1.4km to Himuro 氷室


  ** Funamizu of Sugisaka ( Water of Kyomi Toge ) 杉坂の船水(京見峠の水)    
This is a place where you can fill sacred water from the mountain called Funamizu. This one is very close to Himuro Wakare ( on the left path toward Sugisaka ). You may want to fill your bottles before heading to Himuro.   京見峠の水 : 正式には杉阪の船水(すぎさかのふなみず)と称し、一般的に「京見峠の水」として親しまれている。京見峠の北西約800m、府道沿い西側に位置する。大日如来石仏が祀られる傍ら、石組みの放水口が設置されており、飲用可能な清水が流れ出ている。

 At this point you can fill your bottles with drinkable mountain water. Since this water is directly coming down from the mountains so you must expect to have some small particles of sand mixed up in the water. This time I had a man who was filling water with me who offered me to use a special filter attached to a funnel with my bottle.  山水なので細かい砂が混じっていることもあります。水を汲む際はフィルターを使用することをお勧めします。 This spot is just a few minutes from the point 68. You will also see a warning sign saying " watch out for bears! ".  
*●*●* 京見峠~氷室道~氷室の里 京都の田舎 Himuro (Kyoto)  *●*●* 

YouTube 動画

 ** Kitayama 66 ( Himuro-cho ) 氷室町     

氷室・山幸橋 Himuro & sanko Bridge ( to West )    
舟山・釈迦谷 Funayama & Shakadani ( to North / East )    京見峠 Kyomi Toge Pass ( to East )  

This is an outlying country side of Kyoto mostly consists of farmland in the north of Kyomi Toge.
  *●*●* History of Himuro ( Ice House / Ice Chamber ) *●*●*                 

 Himuro literally means "Ice house ". This tradition started in an ancient times as means to preserve ice formed in winter until summer time. They were serving semselves as our ancient refrigerator.  It is said the ice chambers were  3 merer-deep roofed pits where ice was stored, being wrapped and covered with straws as a form of inslation. The custom of dedicating ice presrved in Himuro to Imperial Palace began in 17th century. They were dug out and immediately carried to the Imperial Palace or residences of the noble people in summer.

 The one introduced in here is a " Himuro Shrine " of Kyoto. This shrine was bult as a guardian shrine of this area. Enshined here is a deity of Ice. There is a place called " Himuro Ato = Remains of Ice Chamers " just a few kilometers from this shrine.

 You woold also see the image of this type of farming style in this area.

 *●*●*  Himuro Shrine ( Himuro Daimyo-jin ) 氷室神社                               

The exact year of its original foundation of the shrine is unknown, but the main structure called ( Tsuridono = of shrine was built in early 17th century moved from a garden belonged to Emperor Gosuio. The place enshrines a deity commemorating the time when Himuro Ice was dedicated to a prince in times of Emperor Jintoku. Himuro Shrine was officially designated as an Important Cultural Heritage Site of Kyoto in 1994.


 Tsuridono is a type of structure found in Imperial garden architecture called Shinden Style. Tsurido is usually buiilt next to a pond. The name came from the fact that they look as if they are suspended in the middle of a pond.    釣殿  つりどの : 寝殿造の邸宅において、中門廊(ちゆうもんろう)の先端に、池に臨んでつくられた建物。周囲を吹放ちにした瀟洒(しょうしゃ)なもので、納涼・供宴に用いられた。池に釣り下ろしたような建物であるため、この名があるという。また、遊興としてここで鯉(こい)、鮒(ふな)をとることもあったという。


 Further along the way you will reach the point of Kitayama 65. A jizo statue on the corner of a house is the landmark. You can get to the spot where the remains are from a patch of farm land. Since the land belongs to a nearby farmer's house, you may ask for permission for your entrance from the path on your left.  

It is right under my feet. some parts of this land form a small pond of water made by mountain stream.

Located in Himuro-cho of Nishigamo is a historical remain of Hiuro's Ice pits. You can see 3 spots denting on the ground where the mountain stream runs in to form ice. The ice formed in these pits used to be preserved in here and carried to Imperial Palace in times of Heian Period. Same as Himuro Shrine the place was officially designated as an Important Cultural Heritage Site of Kyoto in 1994.

 この氷室跡は、氷室神社境内を含めて1994年(平成6年)に京都市指定史跡として登録された。三か所の窪地、その周辺に製氷に利用された五か所の氷池、そしてそれらの守護を目的に設置された氷室神社が残存している。当地を含め近隣の複数個所に氷室を新設し、そこから氷を運ばせたという。当地の氷室は、『延喜式』に記載された栗栖野氷室(くるすのひむろ、西賀茂氷室町)および土坂氷室(長坂の表記誤りとされる、西賀茂西氷室町)にあたる。   Web-link :

 Toward Sugisaka from Himuro Wakare ( Kiayama 67-1 ) 杉坂方面

 You will notice these 3 spots on your way before you reach the road splits in 2 ways ( To Sugisaka / to Himuro ). 1. Jizo statue on your left. 2. Mountain Restaurant called " A mountain house of Hasegawa  山の家はせがわ " where you can have a nice meal on the balcony surrounded by the great nature. 3. Mountain Water of Funamizu.

( Right path : To Himuro )
 This is another passage to Himuro from a mountain. You will come out to the center of Himuro-cho. Go up along the stream. You will come across some beautiful deep spots in the river. When you come to the end of the road, there is a small bridge to cross to the other side where you see a small grave yard. From  here it is just a few minutes walk. This path gets blocked after late evening hours.  
( Left path : To Sugisaka )
6. Sugisaka Area Guide 杉坂エリアガイド
( Dofu Shrine + Jizo-in Temple 道風神社、地蔵院 )

( Enjoy the Nightview ) :  When you go back down the hill via Kyomi Toge to Takagamine area.

 As you head toward east from Genko-an in Takagamine there is a way to go up toward mountain right before the road is going down the hill. This mountain path is connected to Kyomi Mountain Path. Not so far from Takagamine area you will come to this point but the view is little spoiled by the barricade.

 ** Road Access to Kyomi Toge from Takagamine                                        
 At Takagamine Wakare take left and you will see this house on the corner. Genko-an is just across from this one.

 This slop will lead you to Shakadani.To go to Kyomi Toge turn right to go up the hill right before this slope. Do not go down here. This super steep slope is very hard to come up again.
 [車載動画・HD] 京都鷹峯~京見峠~国道162号線杉坂口 

YouTube 動画

 Just follow the same path shown on this video. It goes all the way to Sugisaka-guchi from Takagamine area. ( It does not go to Himuro ).

 Editor ( Translation & Research ) : Masayuki Iwasa ( Massy )
 A piece of Kitayama Cedars from Nakagawa Hachimangu  
A20 中川八幡宮 スギ   A21 中川八幡宮 スギ(台杉)