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

Kodai-ji Temple

Built out of love. (Awwww!)

Contemplating getting married now or in the future? If so, you should have a closer look at Kodai-ji Temple, which is about a 15-20 minute walk from the famous Kiyomizudera Temple.

Where to see fall colors in Kyoto?

This Kyoto prefecture temple is said to grant a happy married life, but even if you’re not interested in getting hitched, it’s still a cultural gem. Japanese people often hold wedding ceremonies here for a happy life, as well as for the stunning garden area.

The garden, splendid in all seasons, has even been recognized by the Japanese government as a historic and culturally beautiful spot.  In addition, while visiting you might even get to see at a traditional Japanese wedding. Historically, it was built for Toyotomi Hideyoshi by his wife Kita-no-Mandokoro also known as Nene, both of whom are buried here.

Kodaiji is an outstanding temple in Kyoto Higashiyama District Japan. It was established in 1606.

Special features

Also available is to learn about makie, the Japanese art of painting lacquer. Gold and silver particles are smoothed into the wet lacquer to create the well-known art on household items and in temples.

For each season there is a light up event at the temple. While “illuminations” are a regular occurrence in winter in Japan, they also tend to be very crowded. Kodai-ji offers a chance to experience an illumination in tranquility. At night, the atmosphere of a temple changes completely.

Kodaiji Temple (Kodai-ji) Cherry Blossom Light Up.

Get a closer look at the illuminated stone garden, the bamboo grove and the pond surrounded by trees beautifully. Also famous is the weeping sakura (cherry blossom) tree. During the light up, there is even a “3D-illumination,” where the stone garden and the main buildings of the temple become the canvas for this light spectacle.

kodaiji

Photo by: David Hsu The autumn illumination at Kodai-ji.

If you’re looking for a more traditional experience, take a brief stop at the tea house located in the garden. Sip matcha tea and enjoy a sweet for just ¥500, an experience that will take you back in time. Draw the day to a close while hiking up the hill overlooking Kyoto. On your way back down, slow down through the bamboo grove to absorb the mystical atmosphere. It’s a bit smaller than the famous one in Arashiyama, but is a lot less crowded.

Dig this scenery? Check out more temples in Japan.

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Trivia

Daitoku-ji Temple

Zen Life: Temples, rock gardens, and bamboo forests all in one.

More

Things To Know

Tea House

¥500 for matcha and sweet

Fees

Admission: Adults ¥600; teenagers ¥250.

Hours and Illumination

Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Illumination event hours: Spring: mid-March to beginning of May; after sunset to 9:30 p.m.; Summer: 1-18. August; after sunset to 9:30 p.m.; Autumn: late October to beginning of December; after sunset to 9:30 p.m.; Winter: last day of the year.

How To Get There

Address

Japan, 〒605-0825 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Shimokawarachō, 臨済宗高台寺

By train
  • From Hankyu Kawaramachi and Keihan Shijo station take bus 207 and get off at Higashiyama Yasui.
  • From JR Kyoto station or Kintetsu Kyoto station take bus 206 and also get off at Higashiyama Yasui.

Where To Stay

Ryokan Motonago
  • Higashiyama-ku Kodaiji-dori Washio 511 Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 605-0072
  • 0.1 km
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Ryokan Uemura
  • Higashiyama-ku Gion Shimogawara Ishibei-koji Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 605-0825
  • 9.4/10
  • 0.2 km
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Gion Ryokan Q-beh
  • Higashiyama-ku Washiocho 505-3 Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 605-0072
  • 8.9/10
  • 0.2 km
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Small Luxury Ryugin
  • Higashiyama-ku Shimogawara 463-12 Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 605-0825
  • 9.2/10
  • 0.2 km
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