Kodai-ji Temple (Otamaya,location,history)

Kodai-ji Temple, Otamaya

The information about Kodai-ji Temple is presented here. Kodai-ji Temple is also called “Maki-e no Tera (Temple of Maki-e)” because Otamaya is decorated with Momoyama-style maki-e paintings, and Kodai-ji Temple has many maki-e furnishings that are said to have belonged to Kita-no-Mandokoro, the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Maki-e are said to have been made by Koami Ichimon (family) and others.

【Kodai-ji Temple Location Map & Directions】

Address: 526 Shimogawara-cho, Kodai-ji, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Higashiyama-Yasui bus stop (about 5 minutes on foot), Keihan Gion Shijo Station (about 12 minutes on foot), Hankyu Kyoto Kawaramachi Station (about 15 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:30 (last admission 17:00)
Closed: open year round

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Individual: Adults and University Students 600 yen, High school and Junior High School Students 250 yen

【Kodai-ji Temple History】

On the site where Kodai-ji Temple (高台寺) is located, Gansei-in Temple, said to have been founded by Mitsumoto Hosokawa, was once built. On September 18th, 1598, Toyotomi Hideyoshi died at Fushimi Castle at the age of 62. In 1603, Kita-no-Mandokoro, the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, received the posthumous name “Kodaiin Kogetsuni” from the 107th Emperor Go-Youzei, and requested that the temple be built to mourn her husband’s death. In 1605, Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo shogunate, is said to have guaranteed the temple territory of Kotoku-ji Temple, where Asahi-no-tsubone, the mother of Kita-no-Mandokoro, was mourned. Kodai-ji Temple was founded in 1606 by Kita-no-Mandokoro to mourn her husband Toyotomi Hideyoshi, with Kyushin Zenkyou as its founder. Originally, Kita-no-Mandokoro wanted to mourn Toyotomi Hideyoshi at Kotoku-ji Temple, where her mother had been mourned, but because Kotoku-ji Temple was too small. Therefore, Gansei-in Temple, which was located at the present site of Kodai-ji Temple, was moved to the grounds of Nanzen-ji Temple as a sub-temple, and then Kotoku-ji Temple was moved to the site of Gansei-in Temple, where Kodai-ji Temple was founded. Butsuden was built by moving and remodeling the temple building of Kotoku-ji Temple, and Hojo and Chashitsu were moved from Fushimi Castle, which was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Kita-no-Mandokoro also moved the Kesho Goten and its front garden from Fushimi Castle and made it her own residence, the Kodaiin Yashiki. Tokugawa Ieyasu treated Kita-no-Mandokoro with great care, appointing Itakura Katsushige, the governor of Kyoto, as the fushin-bugyo of Kodai-ji Temple, Sakai Tadayo and Doi Toshikatsu as the fushin-goyogakari, and Hori Naomasa as the fushin-gakari. In 1608, Kyurin Gensho, a cousin of Kita-no-Mandokoro, built Korin-in Temple, a sub-temple of Kodai-ji Temple. In 1612, Tokugawa Ieyasu is said to have donated 400 koku of temple land to Kodai-ji Temple. It is said that in 1615, during the Osaka Natsu-no-Jin, when the Toyotomi family was destroyed, Kita-no-Mandokoro saw the castle tower of Osaka Castle burn down from the second floor of Shigure-tei, which had been moved from Fushimi Castle to Kodai-ji Temple. In 1616, Kyurin Motomasa built Geshin-in Temple, a sub-temple of Kodai-ji Temple. In 1624, Sanko Joeki was invited to Kodai-ji Temple by Kennin-ji Temple, the main temple of the Kennin-ji School of the Rinzai sect of, and the sect was converted from the Soto sect to the Rinzai sect. Kinoshita Iesada, the elder brother of Kita-no-Mandokoro, was a close friend of Sanko Joeki, and Kinoshita Iesada’s eighth son, Shunan Shoshuku, was ordained under Sanko Joeki. In 1624, Kita-no-Mandokoro died at the the Kodaiin Yashiki. Later, in 1632, Kinoshita Toshifusa, a nephew of Kita-no-Mandokoro and the second lord of the Bichu Ashimori-han, transformed the Kodaiin Yashiki into Entoku-in Temple, a sub-temple of Kodai-ji Temple, and made it the family temple of the Kinoshita family. In 1648, Kinoshita Katsutoshi, a nephew of Kita-no-Mandokoro, built Shunko-in Temple, a sub-temple of Kodai-ji Temple. In 1650, Sanko Joeki died. In 1789, Dai-Hojo, Sho-Hojo, and Kori were destroyed by fire. In 1795, Sho-Hojo was rebuilt by moving the Kesho Goten from Entoku-in Temple, and Kita-Shoin was built in Entoku-in Temple. In 1863, Kodai-ji Temple became the residence house of Matsudaira Shunsugaku, a lord of the Fukui-han who was a member of the Kobu-gataiha, and Sho-Hojo was burned down by arson. In 1867, Ito Koshitaro, who had left the Shinsen-gumi and other members of the Kinri-Goryo-Eji, set up their base at Geshin-in Temple, which was also known as the Kodaiji-to. After the Meiji Restoration, Koudai-ji Temple was devastated by the separation of Shinto and Buddhism and the Haibutsukishaku, and in 1869, the temple’s territory was reduced by the Agechirei (decree).
*reference・・・Kodai-ji Temple website

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

★Otamaya (Otamaya Hall, 霊屋, Important Cultural Property) was built in 1605 by Kita-no-Mandokoro. Otamaya is said to be the remains of Fushimi Castle. Otamaya houses the statues of Daizuiku Bosatsu, which is said to be Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s nenbutsu and guardian deity, in the center zushi, the statue of Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the right zushi, and the statue of Kita-no-Mandokoroa in the left zushi. It is said that the remains of Kita-no-Mandokoro, who died on October 17th, 1624, are buried several meters below the statue of Kita-no-Mandokoroa.
★Kaizando (Kaizando Hall, 開山堂, Important Cultural Property) was built in 1605 by Kita-no-Mandokoro. It is said that Kaizando was once the jibutsudo of Kita-no-Mandokoro. Kaizando houses the statue of Sanko Joeki in the center, the statue of Kinoshita Iesada and his wife in the right, and the statue of Hori Naomasa in the left.
★Garden (庭園, Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site) is said to have been created by Kobori Enshu (Kobori Masakazu), a feudal lord, tea ceremony master, and garden designer. Garden is a walking garden with Garyu-ike pond and Engetsu-chi pond borrowed from Higashiyama. It is said that the stones and trees in the garden were transferred from Fushimi Castle, which was built by Hideyoshi Toyotomi.
高台寺見どころ(Kodai-ji Temple Highlights)

【Events (confirmation required)】

★Tanabata-e (七夕会) is held every year on Saturday and Sunday around July 7th. During Tanabata-e, the temple grounds are decorated with bamboo decorations tied with tanzaku with wishes written on them, and the decorations are lit up from sunset.
★Tomyo-e (燈明会) is held every year from August 1st to August 18th. Tomyo-e is held in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and hundreds of mourning lanterns are lit along the approach to the temple until August 18th, the anniversary of his death. Kaizando and garden are illuminated.
★Kita-no-Mandokoro Chakai (北政所茶会) is held every year on October 6th. Kita-no-Mandokoro Chakai is held in memory of Kita-no-Mandokoro on October 6th, the monthly anniversary of her death. Kita-no-Mandokoro Chakai consists of five cha-seki (tea ceremonies) and one tenshin-seki held over the course of one day.

【Flower Calendar (cherry blossoms, etc )】

★The best time to see cherry blossoms (桜) is around early April. About 50 cherry trees, including Somei Yoshino and weeping cherry trees, are planted and the weeping cherry trees in Hashin-tei are said to be beautiful. Kodai-ji Temple is illuminated every year around the time of the cherry blossoms, and a special night viewing is held. (night illumination, 桜ライトアップ)
高台寺桜ライトアップ (Kodai-ji Temple night illumination)
★The best time to see autumn leaves (紅葉) is from mid-November to late November. About 1,000 trees, including Yama-momiji and Iroha-momiji maple trees, are distributed and the scenery of the autumn foliage, Garyu-ro and Garyu-ike Pond are said to be beautiful. Kodai-ji Temple is illuminated every year around the time of autumn leaves, and a special night viewing is held. (night illumination, 紅葉ライトアップ)
高台寺紅葉ライトアップ (Kodai-ji Temple night illumination)
★The best time to see rhododendrons (シャクナゲ, 石楠花) is from late March to late April. Large rhododendrons are planted in the garden and around Garyu-ike Pond, Kasa-tei, and Shigure-tei, and the scenery of the rhododendrons, garden, Garyu-ike Pond, Kasa-tei, and Shigure-tei is said to be beautiful.
(The best time to see the plants depends on the climate of the year.)

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

Tel: +81-75-561-9966

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Kodai-ji Temple is via Nene-no-michi (Nene Path), Yasaka-no-to (Hokan-ji Temple), Ninen-zaka, and Sannen-zaka to Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Nen-no-michi, Ninen-zaka, and Sannen-zaka are lined with stone pavement and stone steps, and offer the atmosphere of Kyoto. From Kodai-ji Temple, a walk through Gion via Yasaka Shrine is also recommended.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Kodai-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