Genko-an Temple

Genko-an Temple © Iry


Priest Tettou who belonged to the Daitokuji branch of the Rinzai sect originally established the Genko-an temple in 1346. In 1694, however, the 27th Zen, Manzandouhaku, in Daijou temple in Kaga-koku (modern Ishikawa prefecture) became the manager and the temple became that of the Soutou sect, another branch of Buddhism.

In the main hall of the temple, there are two windows, a square one and a round one, which are the symbol of Genkoukan. They are called 'the window of enlightenment and window of delusive, both expressing Buddha's teachings. The window of delusive expresses the inevitable troubles that humans pass through during their lives. The window of enlightenment has a large circle representing the Zen's state of mind, 'Zen no Entsuu'. This is the way of living without any stereotypes. The circular window expresses the whole universe.

Another must see spot in the Genko-an is the ceiling entirely soaked in blood. In 1600, one of Ieyasu Tokugawa's army's, Mototada Torii fought with Mitsunari Ishida's army at the Fushimi Momoyama Castle. Many died in this battle and blood was shed all over the floor of the castle. These floorboards were brought to five places including this temple to rest the remains of the war dead, in peace. These floorboards are used as the ceiling boards of the temple.

Genko-an is placed in the far northern part of Kyoto which is often very quiet and peaceful, but when the red and yellow leaves are on the trees in autumn, many visitors come to see the trees from the two windows. For those who want to reflect on themselves, looking through these windows, we do not recommend going in the fall season.


Bus: One minute from the Takagamine-Genkouan-mae Stop on Kyoto City Bus

Image Gallery: Genko-an Temple

Description: Genko-an Temple

Sights Genko-an Temple (源光庵)
Address 47, Kita-takamine-cho, Takamine, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Phone / Fax Phone: 075-492-1858 / Fax: 075-493-5646
Duration 30Minutes
Business Hours Monday:09:00-17:00
Closed dates Irregular closed dates
Admission Fee Pay admission: 400yen
Recommended Season
Spring (March - May)
Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
Recommended target Family Couples Groups Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller

Map: Genko-an Temple