An outstanding Zen Temple, built in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Kodai-ji Temple is located in Kyoto’s Higashiyama district between Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizudera Temple. It was established in 1605 in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of Japan’s greatest historical figures, by Hideyoshi’s wife Nene who is also enshrined at the temple.
Kodai-ji Temple is famous for some of the historical personages and artifacts. The two teahouses are designed by Sen-no-Rikyu, the most famous master of tea ceremony.
Up on the hillside behind the temple, there is the memorial hall enshrining Hideyoshi and Nene. The interior is richly decorated with special lacquerwork. Further up the hill are two tea houses. The return path to the temple buildings passes through a bamboo grove.
Two impressive zen gardens
The Temple building is surrounded on two sides by impressive Japanese gardens. One of the gardens is a rock garden consisting of a large field of raked gravel meant to represent the vast ocean. The other garden is an impressive “tsukiyama style” garden featuring a pond, man made hills, decorative rocks and beautiful pine and maple trees.
The Kaizan-do hall and the Kangetsudai, covered walkway are incorporated into the garden. Visitors enjoy them from different angles.
Access : 20-minute walk from Gion Shijo station on the Keihan main line.
20-minute walk from Kawaramachi station on the Hankyu line.
5-minute walk from Kyoto city bus stop Higashiyama-Yasui.
Hours : 09:00 to 17:00
Admission : 600 yen
From mid-March to early May each year, Kodai-ji temple‘s stages are lit up with special illumination at night. Its beautiful gardens and weeping cherry trees create magical atmosphre.
Kodai-ji Temple offers you a special night visit in summer. Its magnificent temple buildings,the refined Japanese garden and bamboo grove are illuminated. Visitors can also enjoy the projection mapping shows with combination of historical scenery and technology.
Kodai-ji Temple’s garden has a pond with autumn trees planted around it. During the fall leaf season, the area is lit up, creating a magical atmosphere with the bright colors of trees reflected in the pond.