An historical Temple of more than 1300 years with the beautiful scenery and many trees in the area, known for its striking autumn colors.
Bishamon-do Temple is located on the hillside in the northernmost of the Yamashina Kyoto. The temple is one of the Tendai sect of Buddhism. Bishamon-do has a strong connection with the imperial family. The main deity is Bishamonten, one of the Seven Lucky Gods worshipped as the deity of good business and family safety.
The temple was originally established by a monk, Gyoki in 703 and was rebuilt at the current location in 1665 by Amemasa Tenhami and his disciple Hiromu Oshimi.
Some of the temple buildings and gates were transferred from the imperial palace as an imperial prince assumed the position of head priest in the 17th century.
The various buildings in the temple’s grounds are precious remains. Many of them are designated as tangible cultural properties of Kyoto city.
A beautiful garden setting around a small pond with a stone bridge is Bansui-en Garden. It’s also called “bridge to paradise”.
The garden was constructed in the Edo period. This pond garden is meant to be enjoyed from all sides. Visitors can see it from various angles from the temple’s hallways. A small altar at the back of the pond is surrounded by maple trees that turn a lush green in summer and a gorgeous red in autumn.
Bishamon-do is most famous in the spring and the autumn for its cherry blossoms and autumn leaves. The approach to the Chokushi-mon gate is particularly popular, when the red maple leaves covering the stone approach.
In the spring, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and the temple’s grounds become colorful. The large weeping cherry tree in front of the Shinden hall is over 150 years old. It blooms in early to mid-April.
Access : 20-minute walk from Yamashina station on both JR Tokaido Line and Subway Tozai Line.
Hours : 8:30 to 17:00 ( DEC to FEB 8:30 to 16:30)
Admission : 500 yen