Kyoto Sights

Kodai-ji (Kodai Temple)

  • Shimogawara-cho Map It
  • Higashiyama-ku
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 12/10/2015

Fodor's Review

On a quiet stone-inlaid street in the Eastern Hills district, Kodai-ji is a jewel of a Momoyama-era temple complex. A koi pond figures in the beautifully tended garden, whose teahouses sit elegantly on higher ground. Many of the splendid paintings and friezes inside the temple buildings were relocated from Fushimi Castle, parts of which were used to construct Kodai-ji in the early 1600s, most notably the sinuous covered walkway. A back lacquer altar filled with tiny images is a masterpiece of that craft.

The temple was a memorial to Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537–98), a powerful warrior and political leader, commissioned by his wife Nene (1548–1624). The road in front of the temple is called Nene-no-michi in her honor. On the hills overlooking the main temple, which dates to 1912, are teahouses designed by a pupil of the tea master Sen-no-Rikyu; they are identifiable by their umbrella-shape bamboo ceilings, thatched roofs, and large circular windows. Evening illumination in April, November, and December is popular among locals and visitors.

Sight Information


Shimogawara-cho, Kyoto, 605-0825, Japan

Map It



Sight Details:

  • ¥600
  • Daily 9–5

Published 12/10/2015


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