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Kodai-ji Temple, Kyoto

4.4
#4 of 64 in Parks in Kyoto
Find tranquility and history at Kodai-ji Temple, a Buddhist shrine founded in the 17th century. Originally established in 1606, this site belongs to the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism and features ornate interiors and Zen gardens. Enter through the main hall, redone in 1912, explore the rock and tsukiyama-style gardens, and walk uphill to the site's mausoleum and two teahouses. The premises also contain a secondary temple with its own Zen gardens. With our custom trip planner, Kyoto attractions like Kodai-ji Temple can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
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Kodai-ji Temple Reviews
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1,213 reviews
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4.4
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  • Tea ceremony (yobanashi) winter night I went. Tea party only by the light of a candle, made with two clothing o薄. After that your tools look out guidance and garden, in a dim sum meal. The last coffee at coffee shop. Trees reflected repeatedly visiting kodai-JI is illuminated in a private garden, bamboo groves, ponds and views are fantastic, surreal world. This is not a luxurious winter pause.
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  • A truly fascinating angle. We visited the temple one evening after sunset with the temple lit. Incredible number of tourists! the tail made it impossible to enjoy the place, all in single file! Many walk without even pausing! We go out and we decide to come back the next morning to the opening. Perfect choice because tourists are not so early risers, the day also splendid allowed us to admire the colorful maples, the pond, the wooden bridge ... the zen garden. Unforgettable.
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  • We stumbled upon this little gem on our way back from Kiyomizu-dera temple which is a stone's throw away. In contrast with Kiyomizu-dera which was quite large with crowds of people (but still amazing!...  more »
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  • Beautiful scenery at night. At some place on the hill, you can see Kyoto Tower. Good place to go with friends and loved ones. Not so good if you bring children since they will get bored fast
  • We visited this temple in the evening for the autumn illumination. It was stunning, we watched the visual show 3 times to get the full effect. The pond was like a mirror and it was so beautiful. They even have a mini bamboo forest. Such a special experience to see the temple lit at night in this way. I would seriously recommend.
  • One of the less-pretty temples that I visited amongst a dozen during my stay in Kyoto. There was not a lot of foliage here even in the prime season (November) in 2017. The vantage points for photography were also a bit lacking. I suspect that night-shots when they light up the place might be a bit better since there is a small bamboo portion of the temple.
  • We were fortunate to have visited Kodai-ji on its first night of Autumn Illumination. It was an absolutely gorgeous experience. The gardens were lit so beautifully and the temples were fantastic. They had a 3D mapped light show in one of their gardens and it was excellent. The highlight of the visit for me was definitely the pond which reflected the illuminated trees. It was so still it was like a mirror. I definitely had a zen moment standing their in awe of its beauty.
  • The Zen garden, the all wood covered above-ground walkway, the rock placements and the maple turning red amidst very green pine and foliage make Kodaiji a must see. Oh did I forget the Rain Viewing Pavilions on the highest ground with a view? It would make raining so much more enjoyable, if you could ever be allowed to sit inside up there!

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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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