Kozanji Temple: read a guide to Kozanji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site with the oldest tea field in Japan.
Kozanji Temple 高山寺
Kozanji Temple was established at the beginning of the 13th century and is located in the mountains of Takao off of the winding road that begins at the famed stone garden at Ryoanji Temple and Ninnaji Temple, and leads west out of the city.
The monk Myoe (1173-1232) founded and named Kozanji Temple. His original thatched residence, Sekisuiin, survives and is still located on the grounds of the temple.
Kozanji Temple is best known for its fall colors. On a weekend in late October or early November the traffic comes to a standstill and crawls slowly on the narrow road towards Takao and its famed leaves.
Kozanji also has the oldest tea field in Japan, which is where Myoe allegedly planted tea from seeds brought back from China by Eisai, a Zen priest.
Also of interest are the temple's collection of picture scrolls showing animals at play and considered to be Japan's earliest manga. Replicas are on show at the temple while the originals are kept at the Kyoto National Museum and Tokyo National Museum.
For both hiking and culture, Kozanji is a wonderful temple.
Admission is 600 yen.
Choju-jinbutsu-giga, Animal-person Caricatures, Kozanji Temple, Japan
Kozanji Access - Getting To Kozanji Temple
Alternatively take the number #8 Kyoto city bus from either Shijo Station or Karasuma Station and get off at Kajino or the Takao bus stop. The temple is not within the Kyoto City Bus & Kyoto Bus One-day Pass (500 yen) zone.
Kozanji Temple can easily be combined with a visit to nearby Jingoji Temple and Saimyoji Temple.
8 Togano-o-cho, Umegahata, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto.
Tel: 075 861 4204
Kozanji Temple Map
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