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“Spectacular illumination in the spring!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kodai-ji Temple

Kodai-ji Temple
526 Kodaiji Shimo-Kawaramachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
+81 75-561-9966
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Ranked #23 of 369 attractions in Kyoto
Type: Religious Sites, Parks
Attraction Details
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Spectacular illumination in the spring!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

From mid-March to early May each year Kodaiji stages beautiful illuminations at night, beginning after sunset and running until 2130. There are two impressive gardens at this temple. The first is a rock garden, which is a large area of raked gravel. Here there were two projections that looked like kaleidoscopes. They were awesome; people sat there, quietly, watching the changing images for a long time before moving on to see the rest of the grounds. In addition, different parts of the garden were lit up at various times, including a gorgeous weeping cherry tree. The second garden consists of a pond, hills, trees, etc. and is the site of a memorial, which is a beautiful building with a covered bridge leading up to it. While it was pretty at night, it probably would be even better to see it during the day. Further into the temple grounds there is a small bamboo grove, where each stalk is lit up.

Going to an illumination is a truly magical experience. The crowds are smaller, the temple grounds quieter, and the lights draw your attention to the beauty of the season. (Kodaiji and several other Kyoto temples also do illuminations in autumn.)

Admission to the Kodaiji illumination is 600 yen per person, which includes entrance to the nearby Kodaiji Sho Museum.

Visited March 2014
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317 reviews from our community

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Big Pine Key, Florida
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
108 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“A Lovely Walk”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

This was a great temple to end my day in Kyoto. The temple is right off a major walking path, but the temple itself is quite serene. There was everything here. A rock garden, a bamboo garden, and a traditional Japanese home. It is definitely worth a stop.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Navi Mumbai, India
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“beautiful garden and serene walkways”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

i visited the temple in evening time. The garden was beautiful with small pond that blended in calm of evening. We had wal karound bamboo forest; and the walk was serene and refreshing.

Visited April 2014
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Athens, Greece
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful night visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

We visited this temple in late April after the sun had set. There was some sort of exhibition and they stay open until late.Visiting the gardens at night was amazingly beautiful and one of our most beautful experiences in Kyoto..

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Adelaide, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Beautiful sense of space and form”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

The gardens surrounding this temple are beautiful example of stone, rock and living working together to create a retreat from the usual.

Visited April 2014
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