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Kodaiji Temple

A widow built this temple in 1606 to pay homage to her late warrior husband. Today, it survives as an eye-catching site of tranquility with postcard-pretty gardens.

This is one of the most recognized temples in Kyoto. Built for an ancient warrior by his widow, the Kodaiji Temple is a Buddhist Zen haven with ornate interiors and serene gardens. It survives today, after many fires and battles, as a showcase of peace and tranquility. Tourists flock to this sanctuary to stroll around the exquisite grounds, learn about Japanese history and experience the somber atmosphere of the tomb within.

Enter the temple’s main hall, the Houjyo, which was rebuilt in 1912 after a fire. Judge the art on display in the stone garden, which is soaked in warm light at certain times throughout the year. Enjoy the Temple Garden’s serene atmosphere. The Japanese Government has selected the garden as a historical site and place of scenic beauty.

Learn about ancient artifacts and ways of life at the Kōdai-ji Sho Museum. Head to the complex’s sub-temple, Entokuin, to marvel at its exhibitions, sliding-door paintings and finely decorated Zen gardens.

A Japanese woman called Nene constructed the shrine in 1606 in memory of her late husband warrior, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Her body is also enshrined in the temple. Look inside the Otama-ya, a burial chamber adorned with gold designs and a particular lacquer. Gaze at the warrior’s gold- and silver-threaded jinbaori, a coat worn over armor. The temple is open for viewing during the afternoon. There is an admission fee typical of Kyoto’s temples for the shrine and museum, with special prices available for students and groups.

The Kodaiji Temple is in the Higashiyama District in the northeast of Kyoto. The Higashiyama Ryozen Mountains are nearby. Nearby transportation links include the Higashiyama Yasui bus stop, and Kiyomizu Gojo and Gion-Shijo subway stations. Kyoto Station, one of the main train stations in the city, is 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) away. Buses from the station to the temple run regularly.

How about making your time spent at Kodaiji Temple even more unforgettable? Don't forget to try some of these things to do:

Why don't you think about buying an Afternoon Walking Tour of Kyoto Temples & Shrines? It's one of the most popular experiences available here.

Have a look at our Kyoto things to do page to find even more activities while you're in the area.


Guide to Exploring Kodaiji Temple


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