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Konkai komyoji temple 金戒光明寺: the overlooked autumn leaves in Kyoto

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The autumn leaves in Konkai Komyoji temple

Overview

 Konkai Komyoji is not a popular destination for tourist except so-called “Kyoto enthusiast.” In addition to it, most people pay scarce attention to the autumn leaves there though they, especially when illuminated,  are most amazing ones in Kyoto. 

Sanmo gate 山門

金戒光明寺の三門

 This is the main gate of Konkai Komyoji temple. In Autumn, we have special permission to enter it though it is not open to public usually.

 Inside of it, there are many statues of Buddhist Deities and apprentice.(釈迦三尊像と十六羅漢像)

金戒光明寺の山門の扁額

 Under the roof of the second floor, there is a board Kanji are written. Theses Kanji are written by emperor Gokomatsu in 13, or 14th century. It reads ” 浄土真宗最初門.” It means “The gate of the first temple of Jyodo school.”

金戒光明寺三門

 At the veranda, we have a good view of Kyoto city.(Sorry, it was not allowed to take picture there.)

金戒光明寺の紅葉

 Around the gate, there are many vivid red leaves. They never fail our expectation every year.

金戒光明寺の紅葉 夕暮れ

 The perfect time to admire the gate is twilight. In this moment, the vermilion in the sky is stunning warmth against the cold blue of the sky and the city in the darkness.

 In this photo, the gate is illuminated. The last year, illumination didn’t take place in Konkai komyoji. This year, we have no idea it is held or not.

Shiun no niwa 紫雲の庭

Overview

Konkai Komyoji has a garden called Shiun no niwa. It consists of a dry garden and stroll garden. The word Shiuun (紫雲) means  purple cloud. We will discuss the reason why it was named.

Mizukagami 水鏡

金戒光明寺の紅葉金戒光明寺の紅葉2017

 Stroll garden has at least one pond to stroll around. Konkai Komyoji has one pond. Around it, we can find maple leaves turned into so stunning red.

 In addition to it, the pond has extraordinary “Mizukagami.” Mizukagami is an art to admire scenery Japanese people love: to enjoy reflection of something, on pond or reservoir,  you want to admire.

 Konkai komyoji offers us the best Mizukagami in Kyoto.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

DO NOT MISS IT~

Crystal clear colors

金戒光明寺の紅葉金戒光明寺の紅葉

 In Konkai Komyoji, the leaves turn into pink, yellow, and vermilion. They are fragile as though breeze would let them fall down.

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Illumination in Konkai Komyoji temple

Overview

 It is not announced officially announced that illumination will take place or not. In 2017, it didn’t take place.

ヒヒヒ
ヒヒヒ

Officially announced! We have illumination in 2018!

Dates: 9th November~2nd December

Hours 18:00~21:00(Be there by 20:30)

Entrance fee:  Adult 800yen 

Sanmon gate 山門

 Sanmon gate is dimly illuminated. Its solemn architecture and the warm red in leaves stand against cold darkness. Beyond description. One of my favorite place in Kyoto.

Shiun no niwa 紫雲の庭

金戒光明寺紅葉ライトアップ

 The garden is also illuminated in dim. The light is warmer than Sanmon.

金戒光明寺紅葉ライトアップ

 Some leaves don’t change their colors. Shiun no niwa is a cozy garden but we can enjoy lots of colors.

金戒光明寺紅葉ライトアップ

 Perfect! The mizukagami in night is also amazing. At night, Toji temple and Konkai Komyoji provide us with the first-class mizukagami. Illumination of Konkai Komyoji is so dim that mizukagami is so quiet. On the other hand, that of Toji is so alive that mizukagami glitters gold.

ヒヒヒ
ヒヒヒ

Hope it take place!

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How to get to Konkai komyoji temple

Kyoto city bus

Bus no.32、93、100、203、204

Get off at Okazakimichi bus stop (The red bus annotation), or Okazaki Jinja bae bus stop (The blue bus annotation)

げきすせん
げきすせん

Attention!

The route from Okazaki Jinja mae bus stop, we walk throug a grave yard.

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The best time to visit Konkai Komyoji temple

  The most recommended day is around 10th November. The autumn leaves go into full bloom a couple of days earlier than that of other places like Eikando temple or Tenjyuan temple though they are located very close each other.

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The recommended autumn leaves site near Konkao Komyoji temple

 Shinoyo is the most recommended. It is located near Konkai Komyoji and also underrated place.

 Near Konkai Komyoji, there are Eikando, the most popular autumn leaves site in Kyoto.

Tenjuan temple and Nanzenji temple is also located near Konkai Komyoji.

詳細は以下のリンクからご覧ください。

Tenjuan garden: Autumn leaves and night illumination in Kyoto. 天授庵の紅葉
The precise info on Tenjuan garden in fall; Autumn leaves, night illumination, zen garden, the best time to visit, and more!
Top 10 underrated Autumn Leaves spot in Kyoto 2018
As a forcast of the autumn leaves in Kyoto 2018, Kyoto Goat choose top 10 underrated sites of 57 shrines and temples.
京都の紅葉ベスト20/Top 20 sites of Autumn leaves in Kyoto
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A short history of Konkai komyoji temple

 In 1175, Honen, the founder of Jodo school Buddhism, sit on a rock. All of a sudden, purple clouds came out of it and covered the sky and a beam lighted the ground. He made a small hut there. This is the beginning of Konkai Komyoji temple. The garden of Konkai komyouji is named after this story. In the 13th century, emperor Gokogon gave the name “Konkai.”

 The tea house along a Sando, a path to shrine and temple in Japanese, leads to Konkai Komyoji, started sell Yatsuhashi to visitors.

 In Edo period, Konaki komyoji was in a castle-like construction to station military troops in case of emergency.

 In 1862, Matsudaira Katamori of Aizu (He belongs the present-day Tokugawas, which go back to Tokugawa Iyeyasu. ) was inaugurated as Kyoto Syosidai, the bureaucratic office in charge of security of Kyoto city and its environs. The office had scarcity of personnel and it hired Shinsengumi as security guards of Kyoto. Thanks to the story, Konkai komyoji sometimes referred as “the place Shinsen gumi started its career.”

 In the main hall, a statue of Bodhisattva named Mojubosatsu made by Unkei, the famous architect in Heian period.

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About Konkai Komyoji temple

Name:Shiunzan Konkai Komyouji 紫雲山金戒光明寺 

De facto name :Kurodani-san 黒谷さん

Address :121 Kurodanicho, Sakyo ward, Kyoto, 〒606-8331

Phone no.:075-771-2201

FAX no.:075-771-0836

Website Konkai Komyoji official

Time required 1 hour~

Entrance fee: free except special occasions

Crowded?・・・★☆☆☆☆ 1 of 5. Not crowded.

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