Friday, April 01, 2016

Kyoto: Kodaiji Temple

One of Kyoto's many beautiful temples is the Kodaiji temple. Located close to the Kiyomizudera temple, Yasaka shrine and Ninenzaka-Sannenzaka slopes, the temple is in the city's culturally rich Higashiyama District. 

Built in 1606 by Nene ( formal name Kita no Mandokoro), the widow of feudal lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The lane leading to the temple is also known as Nene no Michi, meaning Nene's lane. 
The temple belongs to the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism and has been built in a lavish style of that period featuring ornately decorated interiors and surrounded by beautiful Zen gardens and even a bamboo grove.
The temple's main hall, the Hojo,  was originally covered in lacquer and gold leaf but having been destroyed in a fire in 1912, the current structure is comparatively modest. 
The temple is especially known for its beautiful gardens, designated as places of Scenic Beauty by the Japanese government. One of the gardens is a rock garden consisting of raked gravel typical of a Zen temple.

The other garden features a pond, artificial hills and rocks and pine and maple trees.

In this garden stands the memorial hall 'Kaizando', where Nene is said to have prayed for her husband.  Currently two wooden images of Nene and Hideyoshi are enshrined in the hall. 
A small flight of stairs uphill leads to Nene and Hideyoshi's mausoleum. The interiors are decorated in a style called Kodaiji Makie, a special lacquerwork.  

Hideyoshi was known to be lover of tea ceremonies and no wonder two traditional tea houses are present on the temple grounds. 
The Kodaiji Sho Museum, Ryozen Kannon and Entokuin temple are other located nearby. 

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:30 hrs 

Closing days:  None

Admission: Adults- 600 yen ( Kodaiji temple and Sho Museum)
                  Adults- 900 yen  (Combined ticket with Entokuin temple) 

Address: Kyoto 605-0825, Higashiyama Ward, Shimokawara-cho, Kodaiji 526 

Phone: 075-561-9966


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