A hidden mountain side temple with various flowers

Yoshimine-dera (善峰寺) is a temple of the Tendai sect of Japanese Buddhism located in Kyoto’s western mountain side. Well-known Kiyomizu-dera, one of the top tourist spots is on the opposite side, in the east of town.  Those two mountain temples are with a magnificent view of the city, and are close to the heart of Kyoto. The temple is easily accessible by bus. It’s worth to try the much less well known but equally beautiful Yoshimine-dera. The temple grounds are spacious and there are many Temple’s buildings you can explore.

First, you can find the Main hall “Hondo” just after the temple’s main entrance gate “San-mon“. Then a treasure house where some of the temple’s artifacts are put on display, stands beside the main hall . Temple’s paths extend up the mountain side from these buildings, and many small temple structures are located along the way. The views are quite impressive from there.

Yoshimine-dera allows you to see the famed Kiyomizu-dera on the other side of the mountain.

Along with a good view of Kyoto below, there is one of the landmark in this temple. It is actually a tree called “Yuryu no Matsu”, a revered 600 year old pine tree that is only 2 meters tall but 40 meters wide and so this temple is also known as the Pine Tree Temple. The temple’s gardens are appealing visitors back throughout the year.  There are huge weeping cherry trees that are more than 300 years old. In April, they create an amazing view along with 500 various kinds of cherry trees.


Yoshimine-dera welcomes you with huge weeping cherry trees in April.


In mid-July to mid-July, 10,000 hydrangeas cover the entire slope, and from the high ground, the view of Kyoto beyond the hydrangeas is stunning.


The temple area is particularly beautiful in combination with autumn leaves, and are usually best in the second half of November.


Yoshimine-dera Temple

Address : 1372 Oharano Oshiocho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, 610-1133

Hours : 8:00 to 17:00

Admission : 500 yen

Access : The temple can be reached by Hankyu Bus No.66 in 30 minutes from Mukomachi station on the JR Kyoto line or Higashimuko station on the Hankyu Kyoto line.  There is one bus per hour.