Kozan-ji temple in Toganoo
Kozan-ji Temple, being also called as Toganoo-san, belongs to the Shingon school of Buddhism and is dedicated to Shaka Nyorai Buddha. It was registered as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto in 1994.
Primary attraction of this temple would be a national treasure, Sekisui-in building. Replicas of national treasures are displayed in the building. Those are the "Choju Jinbutsu Giga", a series of animal caricatures said to have been drawn by Toba Sojo (1053-1140), and a painting called "Myoe Shonin Jujo Zazen-zu".
If you would like to walk in fresh forest scent, this would be a good place for you.
Kozan-ji holds a large number of treasures, including about 10,000 Important Cultural Assets as well as eight National Treasures including those mentioned above.
History of Kozan-ji
Tradition has it that Kozan-ji was founded in 774 by the order of the Emperor Konin (709-782), at which time the temple was named "Shingan-ji Togaobo". It is said that the name was changed to Kozan-ji after the temple was revived in 1206 by priest Myoe (1173-1232) as a training hall for reviving the Kegon school of Buddhism by the order of the retired Emperor Gotoba (1180-1239).
Priest Myoe was given a few seeds of tea plant by Zen master Eisai (1141-1215) and planted them in the temple's ground at the beginning of the Kamakura Period (1192-1333), launching the spread of tea cultivation throughout the country. In recognition of this history, tea producers from Uji make an offering of new tea in front of the temple's Shoninbyo mausoleum each year on November 8th.
The above information is based on what is displayed in front of the temple by Kyoto City
How to get to Kozan-ji
Take a JR bus bound for Toganoo or Shuzan from Kyoto Station. It takes about an hour. Intermediate stops include Shijo-Omiya, Ryoan-ji-mae, Takao and Makinoo.
Hours and Admission
600 yen for Sekisui-in. Additional 400 yen to enter the precinct during the season of autumn leaves.
Click on photos for full images.