Myoshin-ji Temple is a walled-in world of Zen temples that easily merits a half-day or even full day of leisurely exploring.
image © Damien Douxchamps
Most tourists headed up to this corner of Northwest Corner head right past Myoshin-ji Temple en route to Kinkaku-ji Temple or Ryoan-ji. This is puzzling, because it’s actually one of the most appealing temple compounds in the city. Whether you enter from the north or south gate, you’ll find a whole world of lanes and beguiling subtemples to explore. You should definitely make a point of seeing the eponymous Myoshin-ji Temple, the main temple here, as well as Taizo-in, one of Kyoto’s finest gardens, but don’t be afraid to poke your head into smaller temples and keep your eyes peeled for special openings. There are a few temples here that are only open a few days a year – if you pass by one of these, go in: you won’t be disappointed.
64 Myoshin-ji-cho, Hanazono, Ukyo-ku
Main temple buildings:
9.10-11.40am (every 20min)
12:30pm (only once)
1pm-3:40pm (every 20min)
Admission to main temple buildings:
Junior high school students: \300
Elementary school students: \100
Other areas of the complex: Free
Non-smoking area: Yes
15min walk from Hanazono Station, JR Sagano-san-in line
Official Website (English)
Where Is This Place Located?See these places on our Kyoto Google map:
- Open the Kyoto map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- Get travel insurance for Japan - World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)