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興聖寺Koshoji Temple

  • Buildings (Temples / Shrines / Cathedrals)
  • Uji Area
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Uji Area
27-1 Uji Yamada, Uji 611-0021, Kyoto, Japan
  • Buildings (Temples / Shrines / Cathedrals)
Open Every Day
Date of post:2015/11/25

A Zen temple with Kotozaka in Uji

  • Temple / Shrine

Kosho-ji is a Zen Buddhist Soto sect temple and the first temple of the sect. The temple was established in the 13th century, but abolished afterward. It was reconstructed at this place in the 17th century.

The approach to the temple is called Kotozaka slope and is one of the 12 Beauty Spots of Uji. Some say the name comes from the shape of the slope and others say it comes from the sound of two streams along the slope. Actually, the shape of the slope is shaped just like a Japanese harp, Koto, and the sound of streams sounds like a music of Koto. The place is also famous for red maple leaves in autumn.

At the top end of the slope, there is a characteristic Chinese style gate. This exotic gate matches with red leaves. You will feel that you are visiting a Zen temple when you pass this gate. Inside, there is a garden with rocks. It looks like to represent the world of Zen. Beyond the garden, there is a main hall, Hondo. This building was built using the planks of the Fushimi - Momoyama castle, so you can see the stains of blood on the ceiling. Shakyamuni is enshrined in this hall and is said to be engraved by Dogen, the founder of the Soto sect. You can not only appreciate the beauty of moss in the garden, but also try Zazen at Dojo here.

After experienced Zen atmosphere, you can go down Kotozaka to the Uji river and take a rest to watch the wide flow of the water. If you want to take a walk, you can go up along the river. After 15 minutes walk you can go as far as a suspension bridge. Beside the bridge, there are many maple trees and if you are lucky enough to be able to visit in the season, you can appreciate the beauty of red leaves there. This place is also beautiful in cherry blossom season.

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