sights / Religious

Giō-ji information

Kyoto , Japan
32 Kozaka-chō, Sagatoriimoto, Ukyō-ku
Getting there
Bus: Kyoto City bus 28 from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama-Tenryuji-mae
Train: JR Sagano/San-in line to Saga-Arashiyama or Hankyū line to Arashiyama, change at Katsura
admission ¥300
Opening hours
9am-5pm, with seasonal variations
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This tiny temple near the north end of the main Arashiyama sightseeing route is one of Kyoto's hidden gems. Its main attraction is the lush moss garden outside the thatch-roofed hall of the temple.

This quiet temple was named for the Heian-era shirabyōshi (traditional dancer) Giō, who committed herself here as a nun at age 21 after her romance ended with Taira-no-Kiyomori, the commander of the Heike clan. She was usurped in Kiyomori’s affections by a fellow entertainer, Hotoke Gozen (who later deserted Kiyomori to join Giō at the temple). Enshrined in the main hall are five wooden statues: these are Giō, Hotoke Gozen, Kiyomori, and Giō’s mother and sister (who were also nuns at the temple).