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Gio-ji Temple, Kyoto
(4.3/5 based on 240+ reviews on the web)
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
  • 祗王寺很小,但卻因為這個寺院有一個帶著哀愁與嘆息的故事,讓人對這座寺院產生了淡淡地淒美的感覺。祗王寺以它的青苔最為出名,我們這次是秋天來,因為幾年的紅葉開得並不好,而青苔也沒有很綠,會有一點點失色的感覺。但我相信若是春夏兩季來更能欣賞到青苔的美。 
  • Not as much autumn colour here as the play if more about shades of green in the garden. Lots of moss. Interesting none the less and worth a visit. 
  • Spectacular Fall colors were a big reason we planned our second trip to Kyoto for November. Falling leaves are a given, and are a welcome part of a garden's 'show' - at any other locale, because Gio-j...  more »
Google
  • Quaint little temple of the beaten track. Well worth a detour to visit.
  • 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.
  • Some of the best japanese gardens I've ever visited. A jewel in Arashiyama area. A must see.
  • This temple is near Arashiyama if you are up for a little walk. There is an entrance fee and a moss garden you might like. The temple is really small and in a nice setting.
  • This temple was a lot smaller than I expected, however it was very quaint. The mosses and maple trees really make it. Even though it was drizzling, the garden had a lovely tranquil feel.