Northwest Kyoto

This mountaintop temple sits at the summit of a long flight of stairs that stretches from the Kiyotaki-gawa to the temple’s main gate. The Kondō (Gold Hall) is the most impressive of the temple’s structures, located roughly in the middle of the grounds at the top of another flight of stairs. Be prepared for a somewhat strenuous, but worthwhile, climb.

After visiting the Kondō, head in the opposite direction along a wooded path to an open area overlooking the valley. Here you’ll see people tossing small discs over the railing into the chasm below. These are kawarakenage, light clay discs that people throw in order to rid themselves of their bad karma. The trick is to flick the discs very gently, convex side up, like a Frisbee. When you get it right, they sail all the way down the valley – taking all that bad karma with them (try not to think about the hikers down below).

To get to Jingo-ji, walk down to the river from the Takao bus stop, cross the bridge and climb the steps on the other side.

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