A quiet and tranquil temple on a hill overlooking the temple grounds and the city of Kyoto below without crowds.
Konkai Komyo-ji Temple (金戒光明寺), located on Yoshida-yama hill in Northern Higashiyama was founded in 1175. The temple, better known as Kurodani Temple or, in Kyoto dialect, Kurodani-san is a large Jodo-sect temple complex with some impressively large gates and halls. The Sanmon gate to the South is particularly impressive in scale. The main hall contains a statue of the founder Honen. The Amida Hall was rebuilt by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1605 as it was damaged by fire.
Konkai-Komyo-ji has 18 sub-temples on its vast grounds.
The Saiun-in Temple, one of sub-temples contains a rock upon which Honen is supposed to have seen an auspicious purple cloud, leading to the establishment of Konkai Komyo-ji Temple on the current location. The rock is known as “Shiunseki” , Purple Cloud Rock.
You can climb the many steps to the base of the pagoda for the breathtaking views of Kyoto below. From the pagoda, there are steps to the left leading you to Shinnyo-do Temple. At the bottom of the steps, you may see a unique afro hair Buddha statue.
There are many cherry trees and other seasonal trees. Visitors can enjoy beautiful sights of various temple buildings along with the harmony of trees, particularly during cherry blossom and autumn color season.
Visitors can also visit some truly superb temples and shrines on Yoshida-yama Hill. Only few tourists visit there, however it’s close to Okazaki Jinja Shrine to the south, Heian Jingu Shrine to the west. It is probably the best place, if you want to visit Japanese temples and shrines without crowds in the city of Kyoto.
Address : 121 Kurodani-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Access : 20-minute walk from Jingu-Marutamachi station on the Keihan main line, or Higashiyama station on the Subway Tozai line.
Bus : From Kyoto station, take the city bus #100 to Okazakimichi, 5-minute walk from there.
Hours : 09:00 to 16:00
Admission : free (charged during special garden opening)