The area of Yamashina-ku is 28.78 km² and the population is 135,901 as of April 1, 2008.
Yamashina-ku is the location of the tomb of Emperor Tenji, the oldest Imperial tomb in Kyoto. The grave of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro is also here. The Lake Biwa Canal passes through the ward. Yamashina is home to the Ōishi Shrine and several noteworthy temples.