Kodai-ji Temple

Kodai-ji Temple © Iry

About Kodai-ji Temple

Kodai-ji Temple was built by Nene in mourning for her husband Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the man who unified Japan. Today it is a Rinzai Kenninji sect temple. After a great deal of political consideration, Tokugawa Ieyasu whom destroyed the Toyotomi house and installed the Edo era shogunate decided to leverage a great amount of financial aid and assisted in the construction by relocating part of Fushimi Castle to create a grand temple. Parts of it have been lost to fire, and the currently remaining Kaisan-do, O-tamaya, Kasa-tei and Shigure-tei, front gate, Kangetsu-dai and other remaining structures are designated as important cultural property of the country of Japan. Hideyoshi and Nene are enshrined in the O-tamaya mausoleum, and there are sitting images of them here. The Shumidan inside of this mausoleum is decorated in silver and gold powder as part of the Kodai-ji Makie lacquerwork that Kodai-ji Temple is famous for.

There are several gardens, in front of the Kaisan-do is the Garyuchi, and in the west is the Engetsuchi which is a pond garden that spreads out to both the east and west, said to have been made by Kobori Enshu. The Garyuchi has beautiful fall colors and from October to December there are special night garden openings where the trees are lit up, allowing you to enjoy a special kind of autumn evening scenery. At Engetsuchi you can see the moon reflected in the pond and so there is a moon viewing platform called Kangetsu-dai. There is also a garden at the Hojo which is famous for its weeping cherries, and during spring there are special events here where the trees are lit up at night. 

Tea ceremonies

At Kodai-ji there are regular tea ceremonies and even if you are a beginner there are numerous things you can participate in. There are various places on the premises such as Kasa-tei and Shigure-tei where tea ceremonies are held. Kasa-tei was designed by Sen no Rikyu and its name comes from the fact that the ceiling made out of logs and bamboo looks like an umbrella. It is connected to Shigure-tei by a dirt floor corridor that was relocated from Fushimi Castle. Directly nearby is the Entoku-in which is the resting place of Kita-no-mandokoro (Nene) and also the Kodai-ji Sho Museum which exhibits Hideyoshi and Nene’s items and lacquerware furniture, so if you’re in the Kodai-ji area it’s highly recommended you visit these other locations as well. Entoku-in entrance fee is 500 yen and the museum is 300 yen. You can get an admission ticket for Kodai-ji and the museum for 600 yen, and if you want to see Entoku-in as well you can get a combination ticket for all 3 locations for 900 yen.


From Kyoto Station take a bus and get off at the Higashiyama Yasui stop (東山安井), and walk east for 5 minutes. By taxi it is a 15 minute ride. From the Hankyu’s Kawaramachi Station (河原町駅) and the Keihan’s Gion Shijo Station (祇園四条駅) there are buses that will take you to the Higashiyama Yasui stop.

Image Gallery: Kodai-ji Temple

Description: Kodai-ji Temple

Sights Kodai-ji Temple (高台寺)
Address 526 Kodaiji Shimo-Kawaramachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Phone / Fax Phone: 075-561-9966 / Fax: 075-561-7387
Duration 30Minutes
Business Hours Monday:09:00-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:00)
Tuesday:09:00-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:00)
Wednesday:09:00-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:00)
Thursday:09:00-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:00)
Friday:09:00-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:00)
Saturday:09:00-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:00)
Sunday:09:00-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:00)
Admission Fee Pay admission: 600yen
Recommended Season
Spring (March - May)
Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
Recommended target Family Couples Groups Infant & Toddler (ages 0-6) Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller

Map: Kodai-ji Temple