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Gio-ji Temple, Kyoto

4.4
#34 of 347 in Historic Sites in Kyoto
Religious Site Tourist Spot
Stop at Gio-ji Temple to observe a rich, evocative fairytale landscape of moss and trees, hiding a modest but picturesque thatched temple. The temple takes its name from a dancer named Gio, who began a doomed relationship with the Heike Clan's leader, Taira-no-Kiyomori. When it ended, Gio retreated here to spend the rest of her life as a Buddhist priestess. Observe carved wooden statues of her, other spurned lovers, and the clan leader himself dotted around the small temple, and look out for the statue of Dainichi Nyorai, the Buddha of Light, found inside the temple. A worthy visit in autumn, the red tones of the leaves contrast beautifully against the lush green mossy ground at this time. Bring along your camera to capture the dream-like beauty of this spot in the woods. Add Gio-ji Temple to your Kyoto travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Kyoto trip generator.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
291 reviews
Google
4.5
  • Gio-ji is not big, not easy to find, and can be seen in a short time. On the other hand it means that there aren't many others there, and you can take your time enjoying the moss garden and tiny build...  more »
  • It was a beautiful blanket of MOSS is a small temple garden. Good ol' blue foliage. In one way in the garden and can be cycled. Kaii Higashiyama's paintings, the garden became the model for "Spring" and learned for the first time. I now want to go in the spring.
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  • Daikaku-ji Temple recommend ever in the saga-field area though... not complaining, this temple is the most beautiful. Visited small venues is a shining green, in a space of silence was a short thing. Also in the Temple in Yoshino Windows and bran preparation in your garden look, I. Strict silence leaves when may is really recommended!
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Google
  • My favourite temple thus far and I have been to all the main ones. Do picturesque as it's covered in moss and it's quiet, not many tourists! do not miss this, I was so touched walking into this place, I can't describe it!
  • Love this place. It is tiny, secluded and peaceful. Be wary that Google Maps sends you the wrong way around 'the block' and you cannot get in from the north dead end road. Instead of following GMaps, locate the Parking spot which is slightly south east of the temple's map marker and get directions to that. It is meters away from the actual entrance.
  • Tiny, secluded, no tourists. Perfect.
  • Quiet place, good spot for peace of mind
  • Small, quiet, very mossy. It's a nice walk up there and most people don't seem to bother. You should, it's a very nice little place.

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Kyoto spoils visitors for choice when it comes to good accommodations, offering everything from traditional ryokans to luxury Western-style hotels. In a city used to receiving foreign travelers, you'll find that most establishments know exactly what to offer tourists and how to help newcomers to the area. To avoid paying premium prices during the cherry blossom season, consider staying in Osaka, located just a 30-minute train ride away. If you must stay in Kyoto itself, keep in mind that centrally located hotels charge more than those in the outer neighborhoods.
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