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Near Yase station lies a former luxury restaurant (ryotei) turned temple. Along the local hills, a fairly large number of gardens awaits visitors to this spot. Passing through the entrance gate, the path follows along stairs up, until you reach the Genkan of the main building. The route through the large complex starts with an ascend to the second floor, where — initially — one was supposed to write a Sutra while looking at the Momiji. However, Rurikō-in has achieved what most places try to avoid: social media fame. Sometime in 2013–15, somebody posted a picture of the maple leaves reflecting in the Sutra table. This made Rurikō-in famous, and at least since 2017, the place has become one of the most crowded in Kyōto, for everybody goes there to get the literally same shot of the table-reflections (sigh). Before, it used to be both quiet and the table there was actually there to sit down and write Sutras… Nevertheless, despite entrance by blocks (2018–19) and reservation-only (2020), Rurikō-in is absolutely worth a visit. There is the main moss garden in the first floor, a traditional stone-bath (kamaburo) once common in Japan and Korea, the rather small worship hall, views over the mountains of Yase, a second garden in the lower area, and just lots and lots of details to gaze at. Rurikō-in is undoubtedly most beautiful in autumn, but despite living close-by, I haven’t gone there yet during peak time, as I tend to avoid crowds whenever possible. A rainy day in early summer is also breathtaking, as the whole complex turns into a symphony of green. Admission: special openings in spring (April–June) and autumn (October–December). Nearby places of interest: Mt. Hiei cable-car, Rakuhoku Renge-ji.
Shinnyodo 2017.jpg

Rurikō-in during rainy season.

Early Summer / 初夏
Late Autumn / 晩秋
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