Kaju-ji Temple (Himuro-ike Pond,location,history)

Kaju-ji Temple, Himuro-ike Pond

The information about Kaju-ji Temple is presented here. At Kaju-ji Temple, Himuro-ike Pond is known for its lotuses, and it is said that during the Heian period (794-1185), the ice covered on January 2 was presented to the imperial court and its thickness was used to divine the abundance of the harvest. Himuro-ike Pond used to extend further south than it does today, but the southern part was filled in during the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573-1603) when Toyotomi Hideyoshi built the Fushimi Kaido (Fushimi Highway). The Himuro-en Garden, which was centered on Himuro-ike Pond, is depicted in “Shui Miyako Meisho-zue”, published in 1786, which describes the fifteen scenic spots of Himuro-ike.

【Kaju-ji Temple Location Map & Directions】

Address: 27-6 Kajuji Nioido-cho, Yamashina-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Ono Eki bus stop (about 5 minutes on foot), Ono station (about 6 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 9:00-16:00
Closed: open year round

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Individual: Adults 500 yen, Junior High and Elementary School Students 300 yen

【Kaju-ji Temple History】

The site of Kaju-ji Temple (勧修寺) is the site of the residence of Miyaji Iyamasu. Miyaji Iyamasu was the governor of Uji District, Yamashiro Province (Yamashina-ku, Kyoto City). Miyaji Iyamasu’s daughter, Miyaji Tamako, became the wife of Fujiwara no Takafuji, a descendant of the Fujiwara Hokke family, and gave birth to Fujiwara no Inshi (Fujiwara no Taneko), Fujiwara no Sadakata, and Fujiwara no Sadakuni. Around 884, Fujiwara no Inshi was the wife of Minamoto no Sadami, who became the 59th Emperor Uda, and gave birth to Minamoto no Korezane, the 60th Emperor Daigo, in 885. In 887, Minamoto no Sadami returned to the imperial throne and acceded to the 59th Emperor Uda, and in 893, Minamoto no Korezane became the crown prince, and in 897, the 60th Emperor Daigo acceded to the imperial throne. It is said that Kaju-ji Temple was founded in the year 900, when Emperor Daigo ordered Fujiwara no Sadakata, who was the same mother and brother of Fujiwara no Inshi, to commemorate his birth mother, Fujiwara no Inshi, who had died at a young age, by converting the ruins of the residence of Fujiwara no Inshi’s grandfather, Miyaji Iyamasu, into a temple. The temple name “Kaju-ji” comes from the posthumous name of Fujiwara no Takafuji, the father of Fujiwara no Inshi. It is said that Emperor Daigo visited Kaju-ji Temple in 903 to pray for the repose of the soul of his mother, Fujiwara no Inshi. It is said that Kaju-ji Temple was listed as a jogakuji temple in 905. There is a description in the Daijokan-pu that “it was founded by Empress Fujiwara no Inshi during her lifetime”, and it is said that Kaju-ji Temple was founded before Fujiwara no Inshi died in 896. In 1110, Kanshin became the 7th head monk of Kaju-ji Temple, and later became the founder of the Kangshuji School, a branch of the Ono School of the Shingon sect. In 1336, according to the “Kaju-ji Jiryo-mokuroku”, Kaju-ji Temple had 18 manors in Kaga (Ishikawa), Mikawa (Aichi), and Bizen (Okayama) Provinces. During the Nanbokucho period (1337-1392), Kanin Hoshinno, the 7th prince of the 93rd Emperor Go-Fushimi, became the 15th head monk of Kaju-ji Temple, and Kaju-ji Temple became a miya-monzeki temple. It is said that in the middle of the Muromachi period (1336-1573), the Onin War (1467-1477) occurred, and in 1470, Kaju-ji Temple was burned down and fell into decline. During the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573-1603), when Toyotomi Hideyoshi developed the Fushimi Highway, the precincts of Kaju-ji Temple were reduced and the south side of Himuro-ike Pond was reclaimed, and then it declined. In 1682, Saishin Hoshinno, a prince of the 112th Emperor Reigen, entered Kaju-ji Temple and became the 29th head monk of Kaju-ji Temple, and Kaju-ji Temple was restored with the support of the imperial family and the Tokugawa family. Saishin Hoshinno was instrumental in the reconstruction of the Great Buddha Hall of Todai-ji Temple in Nara, and the temple territory was increased to 1,012 koku. In the middle of the Edo period (1603-1868), Sonko Hoshinno became the 30th head monk of Kaju-ji Temple. Since Sonko Hoshinno’s aunt, Sananomiya Masako, was the legal wife of Tokugawa Yoshimune, the 8th shogun of the Edo shogunate, who was from the Kishu-han (Wakayama), about 100 temples in Kii Province (Wakayama) became the branch temples of Kaju-ji Temple. In the middle of the Edo period, the 109th Emperor Meisho and the 112th Emperor Reigen were given with the former palace, and Honden (main hall), Shinden, and Shoin were built. In 1951, Oishi Junkyo built Bukko-ji Temple, a subtemple of Kaju-ji Temple, on the site where the subtemple of Kaju-ji Temple had been built.
*reference・・・Kaju-ji Temple website

【Kaju-ji Temple Highlights (May be undisclosed)】

★According to temple legend, Shoin (書院, Important Cultural Property) was built from 1673 to 1675 as the former palace of the 109th Emperor Meisho, and was moved to Kaju-ji Temple in 1686. Shoin includes Jodan-no-ma, Tsugi-no-ma, and Yanagi-no-ma. In Jodan-no-ma, there is shelf called “Kanjuji-dana”. Shoin is decorated with fusuma paintings by the Tosa family.
★Hondo (本堂) was originally a building of the Konoe family, but later became the temporary naishidokoro of the 112th Emperor Reigen, and was moved to Kaju-ji Temple in 1672. Hondo houses the statue of the main Senju Kanzeon Bosatsu (Thousand-handed Kannon), with a height of about 160 cm. Senju Kanzeon Bosatsu was created around the Muromachi period (1336-1573) and is said to be a life-size statue of the 60th Emperor Daigo.
★Shinden (宸殿) is said to have been built in 1697 as a gift from the former palace of the 109th Emperor Meisho. In Shinden, Jodan-no-ma, Ni-no-ma, and San-no-ma are all lined up in a row. Jodan-no-ma has Toko, Tana, and Tsuke-shoin.
★Himuro-en (氷室園) is a pond spring walking garden with an area of about 20,000 square meters centered on Himuro-ike Pond. In Himuro-en, there are islands, bridges, stones, etc., and plums, cherries, juniors, irises, water lilies, lotuses, maples, etc. are distributed. Himuro-en is also home to wild birds such as kingfishers, black ducks, and egrets.
勧修寺見どころ (Kaju-ji Temple Highlights)

【Flower Calendar (cherry blossoms, etc )】

★The best time to see plum blossoms (梅) is from early February to late February. Garyu-no-robai (old plum tree) , wax plum tree and others are planted in Himuro-en and other places, and it is said that the scenery of the plum blossoms, Himuro-en and Shoin is beautiful.
★The best time to see cherry blossoms (桜) is around early April. About 40 cherry trees, including Somei Yoshino, Yae-zakura, Heian-shidarezakura (weeping cherry), and Botan-zakura, are planted in Himuro-en and others, and it is said that the scenery of the cherry blossoms, the garden, Kannondo, and the Tsukiji wall of the approach is beautiful.
★The best time to see autumn leaves (紅葉) is from mid-November to late November. Maple trees and other trees are distributed, and it is said that the scenery of the autumn leaves, Himuro-en, Shoin, and Shinden is beautiful.
(The best time to see the plants depends on the climate of the year.)

【Telephone (Please refrain from making phone calls.)】

Tel: +81-75-571-0048

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Kaju-ji Temple is to Zuishin-in Temple. Zuishin-in Temple is one of the most famous plum blossom viewing spots in Kyoto, and is recommended during the plum blossom season. South of Zuishin-in Temple, there is Daigo-ji Temple, a World Heritage Site and one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Kyoto, and a walk to Daigo-ji Temple during the cherry blossom season is also recommended.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Kaju-ji Temple, be sure to check the latest information.


  1. 錦市場(Nishiki Market)
  2. 竹林の道(Bamboo Forest Path)
  3. 嵐山