Temple in Gimcheon

Jikji-sa is a postcard-pretty temple in a wonderfully quiet mountain forest setting. The delicate paintings on the temple buildings have an appealing grace, as do the giant timbers and several historic stone pagodas.

Of the 40 original buildings, about 20 still exist, the oldest dating from the 1602 reconstruction. Highlights include the Daeungjeon, with stunning Buddhist triad paintings on silk (1774) that are national treasures, and the rotating collection in the temple’s Jikji Museum of Buddhist Arts.

The Vairocana Hall contains thousands of small Buddha statues, while 330 lotus flowers decorate the ceiling of the main hall. Many visitors day-trip to Jikji-sa, while some join the Templestay program (per night ₩50,000-70,000), a lovely experience and an opportunity to learn seon (zen) meditation techniques. There’s a well-established tourist village by the bus stop with minbak (private homes with rooms for rent), yeogwan (small, family-run hotels), a larger hotel, restaurants and cafes.

Jikji-sa is about 20 minutes from Gimcheon by bus. Local buses 11, 111, and 22 (₩1200) depart every 10 minutes from Gimcheon’s intercity bus terminal. The temple complex is a pleasant 15-minute walk from the bus stop.