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Not affiliated with any of the major Buddhist schools, the roots of Kurama temple are said to go back to the year 770. A mountain temple, it is said that spirits such as the Tengū are living in the mountain. From the train station, it is a short walk past small eateries and shops to the main gate of the temple. After the gate, you can either board Japan’s shortest cable car, or continue ascending to the temple on foot (roughly 15-20 mins.). I highly recommend walking up to the main temple, as this path takes not only takes you to Yuki Shrine (由紀神社), but offers some nice sceneries along the way. Be sure to walk over to the pagoda, which is located next to the cable car station. From the main hall, where one can enjoy a superb mountain view, you can either descend back, or continue up the mountain to the Inner Sanctuary (奥之院) and further through the forest to Kibune (roughly 30-40 minutes). Best time to visit: cherry blossoms, summer, maple foliage, snow days. Especially for the latter, Kurama is a safe bet. When the forecast says snow for Kyōto, but there is no snow in the city, catch an early train to Kurama: it is very likely that there will be plenty of snow there! And: the red makes for a good contrast with the white. Admission: open daily. Nearby places of interest: Kibune Shrine, Hakuryū-en.
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Cherry blossoms at Kurama-dera.

Spring and Autumn / 春と秋
Winter / 冬
Yuki Shrine / 由岐神社
Inner Sanctuary and Trail to Kibune / 奥之院