Rurikoin, a hidden Temple to offer stunning sites and an amazing atmosphere.
Rurikoin (瑠璃光院) is located in Kyoto’s northern mountains, an area known as Yase. This Buddhist temple is not yet the biggest destination for tourists but is already a paradise for photographers. Rurikoin opens to the public for very limited time periods in spring and autumn.
This area was a popular location for recreation by court nobles and high-ranking samurai during the Heian and later periods. The Imperial Prince Oama, who later become the Emperor Tenmu, reportedly cured the arrow wound he suffered in the Imperial succession war of Jinshin in 672 here at Yase.
In the biggining of the Meiji era (1868-1912), Sanetomi Sanjo, the highest-ranked court noble and one of the most important figures in the new Meiji government built a villa named Kikaku-tei at this location. The villa was largely renovated at the early Showa period by the renowned master of traditional “Kyoto-Sukiya” style architecture.
After entering the main gate, there are three landscape gardens named “Yamaroji-no-niwa”, “Ruri-no-niwa”, and “Garyo-no-niwa”. Many kinds of maple trees, moss carpeting, and hundreds of Japanese andromeda decorate these gardens throughout the year. You can have a panoramic view of “Ruri-no niwa”, a main garden from inside of the Shoin, a main building.
Rurikoin Temple is famous for its iconic scenery from the second floor of the Shoin building. It displays colourful autumn leaves from the open window. The autumn leaves scenery reflects on a large lacquered black table in the room and creates a breathtaking scenery. The fresh green maple leaves in spring are also amazing. This view of the reflected leaves is called “Yuka Momiji” (Yuka means floor and Momiji means maple in Japanese). Today, this picturesque scenery has become very famous across the world through the social media.
In addition, You can enjoy more autumn colors by strolling around the banks of the nearby Takano River and the path of maple.
Access : A short walk from Yase-Hieizan-guchi station on the Eizan main line.
From Osaka Take the Keihan Main Line to Demachi-yanagi Station and then transfer to the Eizan Main Line.
Open : Limited periods in Spring (Mid-APR to Mid-JUN) and Autumn (OCT to Mid-DEC)
Link : Check the official web site