Stop at Gio-ji Temple to observe a rich, evocative fairytale landscape of moss and trees, hiding a modest but picturesque thatched temple. The temple takes its name from a dancer named Gio, who began a doomed relationship with the Heike Clan's leader, Taira-no-Kiyomori. When it ended, Gio retreated here to spend the rest of her life as a Buddhist priestess. Observe carved wooden statues of her, other spurned lovers, and the clan leader himself dotted around the small temple, and look out for the statue of Dainichi Nyorai, the Buddha of Light, found inside the temple. A worthy visit in autumn, the red tones of the leaves contrast beautifully against the lush green mossy ground at this time. Bring along your camera to capture the dream-like beauty of this spot in the woods. Use our Kyoto tour planner to visit Gio-ji Temple on your trip to Kyoto, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
Tours To Gio-ji Temple
Kyoto Rickshaw Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $47
Duration: 30 to 180 minutes
Kyoto Japanese Garden Lover's Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $119
Duration: 6 hours
Kyoto: Descending Arashiyama (Private) BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $449
Duration: 7 hours
Gio-ji Temple Reviews
Just beautiful. So we went here. If you love gardens you will really appreciate this temple. We went in mid December and there were still lots of autumn leaves. more »
Gio-ji is an old temple in Sagano area. The name of temple comes from a lover of Tairano Kiyomori, a ruler in Heian Period. She was later discarded by him, and passed a retired life in this place... more »
This small temple is off the beaten path and well worth a visit. The moss garden and bamboo fences are beautiful. I also loved the thatched roof of the temple. Enjoy the walk and the adjacent temples while you are there. The entry fee is 300 yen.
The moss garden of Giouji temple was so pretty and well taken care of. It was very calm there. The staff at the reception was very friendly. You will get a small flyer at the entrance for information about the place. If you are in the area of Arashiyama definitely come here.
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