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Kochidani Amida-ji
古知谷阿弥陀寺

Nestled deep in the mountains and hard to access, Kochidani Amida-ji is perhaps one of Kyoto's last hidden gems. Some 2 kilometres north of the main Ohara area, busses only run every few hours. Arriving at the main gate, furthermore, a steep 10–15 minute ascend through a dark forest awaits visitors. Yet, for those who succeed in the journey, a precious temple experience awaits. Established in 1609 as a training place for sutra chanting, the temple itself is consisting of a main hall, a sort of guest hall, a treasure hall, and a stone cavern (澄禅窟). From the guest hall, a small garden can be enjoyed. The personal highlight for me are the mysterious forest flowers blooming there in June and September–October. Depending on your interest, you can spend some time in the temple, studying the treasures and enjoying the tranquillity of the mountains. While the temple is probably most beautiful during autumn foliage season, unfortunately, it is closed during winter… And while the entrance to Kochidani is indeed hard to reach by bus, the walk from the main area to Kochidani is not hard.

Admission: closed during January–February.

Shinnyodo 2017.jpg

Kochidani Amida-ji on a rainy autumn day. November 2017.

Early Summer 初夏
Summer 夏
Autumn 秋
Winter 冬