Kodai-ji Temple is especially famous for some of the historical personages and artifacts associated with it; but it is a beautiful temple and deserves to be visited in its own right. Its walking garden is an exceptional piece of landscape architecture, featuring large stones and trees placed on a hilly landscape among elegant temple buildings, tea houses, and a bamboo grove. From the top of the hill, you are afforded great views of not only the temple grounds, but of much of Kyoto.
The two teahouses, named Kasa-tei (umbrella shaped bower) and Shigure-tei (house of drizzling rain) are classics designed by Sen-no-Rikyu, a famous master of tea ceremony. The roof of Kasa-tei is made of logs and thin bamboo, lending it the appearance of a traditional umbrella, hence its name.
The temple contains the mausoleum of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598), the great warlord who unified Japan after centuries of ceaseless warfare. Statues of Hideyoshi and his wife are enshrined there. The temple is also famous for the style of lacquer created for its furnishings, in which special effects were achieved through the sprinkling of gold flakes into the lacquer. Several pieces of lacquer ware are on prominent display within the temple.
* Address: 526 Shimogawara-cho, Kodai-ji, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City
* Tel: 075-561-9966
* Fax: 075-561-7387
* Access: 20-minute walk from Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Railway
20-minute walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Railway
5-minute walk from City Bus Stop Higashiyama-Yasui.
*Parking: 10 buses (reservation required.) 150 cars (charged) *500 yen /hour. 1 hour free with an admission ticket
* Wheelchair Accessible: Limited to the garden only
* Hours: 9:00 - 17:00
* Time for viewing: 30 minutes
* Closed: Open year round
* Entrance fees: Adults and University Students: 600 yen
High school and Junior High School Students: 250 yen
Children (accompanied by adult) and Disabled: free.