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)
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See my complete list of hand-picked recommendations for Northwest Kyoto, including things to do, places to eat and places to stay.
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