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Gio-ji Temple, Kyoto

4.4
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. Use our Kyoto tour planner to visit Gio-ji Temple on your trip to Kyoto, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Gio-ji Temple Reviews
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312 reviews
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4.5
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  • It's a small garden, you see all of it once entered. What makes it unique is the moss. We were here during autumn foliage and saw no leaves on the ground surprisingly. Very well kept garden, manicured...  more »
  • Hermitage signed eons King 21-year-old abandoned by Taira no Kiyomori. Will be alive with atmosphere. Not sure had fun autumn season? Seems to be to Iori. Leaves, scattered leaves as well. Blue Maple than fresh? This is a must-visit if you come to the Sagano Temple. I wonder was it compared to the pomp of the monzeki Temple and Temple of sad at that time as "nothing".
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  • Went to see the autumn leaves in 11/24. Now is the best time to visit! My mother and sister and spent the eons in love with Temple coming to the tale of the Heike, Taira no Kiyomori was expelled from the city instead than the King's priest. Maple leaves and the MOSS Garden was very nice.
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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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Where to stay in Kyoto

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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