Shrines & Temples

    Joshoko-ji Temple

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    Joshoko-ji Temple

    An old village temple with blooming cherry trees situated in the midst of the mountains, loved by past emperors

    This Rinzai sect Zen Buddhist temple stands in the historical and natural preserve of Keihoku Town; a suburb to the northwest of Kyoto.  During the period when Japan’s political power was divided into two, the first emperor of one of the dynasties, Kogon, established a humble hermitage here in 1362.This was the beginning of the long history of this temple’s association with the imperial family that is designated as a prefectural historical heritage.  Nowadays, the 12,000 square meter temple area has several remains including the Hojo (Head Abbot’s residence) with its Nyorai Buddha statue, a Zen style Kaisan-do Iun-an (building dedicated to the founder), a garden and the Chokushi-mon Gate.Joshoko-ji Temple is particularly famous for its cherry trees a number of which are associated with historical stories such as the weeping cherry tree “Kokonoezakura” said to be planted by the emperor Kogon.  Another tree is called “Mikurumagaeshi no Sakura,” which directly translates to “turning the wheel back of the carriage” originating from an incident when Emperor Gomizuno-o was visiting and ordered the carriage to turn back to enjoy the tree’s beauty.The “Sakon-no-sakura” cherry tree was thought to have been brought from the imperial palace.  Every year around mid-April, numerous visitors come to see the blossoms of these magnificent cherry trees.

    Photo/officeRANSACK,written by/Shinobu Nakai,Translation to English by AD BRAIN INC.


    Name Joshoko-ji Temple
    Address 14-6 Aza Maruyama, Keihoku Ido, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto
    Tel 0771-53-0005
    Hours 9:00-16:00
    Recommended Entry: 300-500 yen (voluntary); Wooden statues of Amida Nyorai and Kyoji were made in the Heian period (794-1185), both Important Cultural Properties.