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Gio-ji Temple, Kyoto

(280+ reviews on the web)
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
  • We were dealing with massive crowds both international tourists and local tourists with Golden Week during our visit in Arashiyama, it was to the point where you couldn't move in the bamboo park witho...  more »
  • This temple is a bit out of the way, requiring a 20+ minute walk from Tenryu-ji Temple. Yes, it is quiet and untouristed. It is also hard to find as no signs show the way. We used Google Maps and was ...  more »
  • Gio-ji temple is an off the beaten path kind of place that most of the busy tourists crowds will overlook. It is accessible by foot after only a 20 minute walk from Saga Arashiyama station, though it ...  more »
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.
  • 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.
  • 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.