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
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.
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.
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.
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.