Jakko-in Temple is a convent with a long history. Located north of Kyoto near the village of Ohara, the temple is secluded and the grounds are very quiet. Worn stone steps lead between a stand of old, thick trees en route to the front gate. There is a slight air of melancholy that pervades the place, which may be explained by its part in a sad history.
The temple is famous for its role in the story of the Empress Dowager Kenrei Mon'in, who was saved from death by drowning, only to lose her child and all of her immediate family when a sea battle against a rival led to the destruction of her entire clan in 1185. Widowed and dispossessed of all that she had once owned, she spent the remainder of her life at Jakko-in Temple, in a state of deep loneliness, praying for the souls of the deceased. Her remains are interred on the grounds.
Jakko-in Temple was home to a precious statue of Jizo, the protector of children, and its garden featured a 700-year-old tree. Unfortunately, both of these were lost when the main temple building fell to arson in 2000. In five years the temple was rebuilt, with a replica statue. In a parallel to the story of Kenrei Mon'in, the temple and its garden continues to survive, although much that had been dear to it has been lost.
*Address: 676 Kusao-cho Ohara Sakyo-ku
*Access: 10-minute walk from Kyoto Bus Stop Ohara
*Hours: 9:00 - 17:00
*Entrance Fee: Adults and High School Students 600 yen
Junior High School Students 350 yen
Elementary School Students 100 yen
Disability Pass-holders free
*Closed: Open daily
*Note: Open until 16:30 from Dec - Feb (1/1-3 16:00)