May. 17, 2017 UPDATE

Gio-ji Temple

- 祇王寺 -
Our Reviews User Reviews 1review
Full of greenery temple with moss garden makes you relaxed
The garden of Giou-ji Temple (Gioji) is known as the place where is enjoyed for fallen leaves with the brilliant green moss. Inside the temple looks greener by the sunlight filtering through the trees mainly in spring and summer. The temple is comparatively new among the temples in Japan and was established at the early Taisho period (1912 - 1926) in order to enshrine Gio. She was a dancer and loved by the military leader of the late Heian period, Taira no Kiyomori. However, she left for the Sagano area and lived with her mother and her young sister after being spurned by Taira no Kiyomori in love another dancer, Hotoke Gozen. So the temple is also known as the tragic love nunnery. This tragedy became the tale of Heike. Since it is translated in English, Please check it out for details if you like. If you are really interested in the moss garden, please try to stop on the way of strolling around the Sagano area.
Moss garden
Moss garden
It would be far more incredible than you could expect! It looks like a fluffy moss carpet and is changed the scenery according to the angle. Mainly the moss of Japanese cider is grown and maple trees are planted. When the petals of maple are fallen down on the moss, a staff of the temple won’t sweep away them in order to enjoy the petals that look like a red carpet.
Hokyoin-To (pagota)
Hokyoin-To (pagota)
the grave on the left side is of Gio, the other is the pagoda for Taira no Kiyomori. Both of them are established in Kamakura period (1185-1333) Why not pray for them so that both would be able to get together forever in the heaven?
Yoshino mado (window)
3Good Experiences
Yoshino mado (window)
The round window is called Yoshino-mado in technical Japanese architecture word. Wonderfully, when a Shoji (Japanese slide door ) of the window is closed, the rainbow color will pop up in the Shoji by the reflection of the sunlight. Checkered patters are made with bamboos in the site. Please peep the green scenery through the window!
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -
Please do not step on the moss. 
3.1 experience3.3 access2.8 photogenic3.3
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.2 experience3.5 access3.0 photogenic3.0
Located some distance away from the busy Arashiyama Station is a very tranquil temple. It has a moss covered garden and a large bamboo forest by it. The greenery makes you feel happy and relaxed. In fall, it is an excellent place to see the autumn leaves. The fallen leaves covering the ground like a red carpet are so beautiful! Although its location is a bit remote, it is still worth coming here to enjoy the scenery.
3.0 experience3.0 access2.5 photogenic3.5
Gio-ji Temple is famous for their moss garden. This small hermitage is surrounded by bamboo and maple trees. This place is a bit far from the center of Arashiyama, but it is also named in The Tale of the Heike, so I'm sure this place can be enjoyed especially by those interested in history.
3.8 experience4.0 access3.0 photogenic4.5
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.8 experience4.0 access3.0 photogenic4.5
Gio-ji Temple / 祇王寺
Category Temples & Shrines, Japanese Gardens
Phone +81 75-861-3574
Address 32 Kozakacho, Sagatoriimoto, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, 616-8435
Directions 20-minute walk from Keifuku Line Arashiyama Stn. 20-minute walk from Sagano Line Saga-arashiyama Stn.
Open Hours 9am - 5pm (Admission ends at 4:30pm)
Reservations Not accepted
Closed Open everyday (TBA if the temple is closed)
Price range
Adult ¥300 Child (Primary,junior high school and high school students) ¥100
Credit cards Not accepted
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
The English brochure is available at the entrance.
Information Japanese, English
Lanuages spoken Japanese only

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