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This temple is located in northern Kyoto on Mount Kurama where rich nature still remains untouched. It is said that “Tengu,” the legendary creature that has a red face and long nose, lives in Mount Kurama. The temple holds many treasures that have historical value. In the extensive mountain, you can ride the cable car and you will find the memorial tower of Minamotono Yoshitsune and Yuki Jinja (shrine) on the way. It is said that the front of the main building of the temple has divine power and the view is outstanding. You can enjoy the elegant atmosphere of Kurama with the legend and historic site. This temple is also known as the place Ushiwakamaru (later, Minamotono Yoshitsune) did his training.
- 1074 Kuramahon-machi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
- Contact No.
- 30-min walk from Kurama Station on Hieizan Railway
- Opening Hours / Holidays
Open all year round, except for Reihoden which is closed on Mondays
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 60 minutes
- Admission fee
- Admission fee 300 yen, Admission fee for Reihoden 200 yen
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Kondo (main building)
Since Kondo, the main building, is built on Ryu-ketsu, literally meaning dragon hole, which is the place that provides divine power. Therefore, the building is filled with the mighty energy that ties the earth to the universe. Rokubousei, a hexagram, is illustrated on the stone pavement in front of Kondo and in the center of the star are three rocks. It is said the power is concentrated here.
Usually, two koma-inu, or sacred dogs, protect the entrance of shrines and temples, but the gate of Kurama-dera is protected by tigers. This is because the tiger is the messenger of Bishamon-ten that is enshrined in the Kurama-dera. The two tigers sit facing each other, one with an open mouth representing the beginning and the other with a closed mouth representing the end. These two tigers are a metaphor of the universe.
Cherry blossoms and red leaves where Ushiwakamaru was trained
The route from where you can see cherry blossoms and maple leaves is also popular. Ushiwakamaru, later Minamotono Yoshitsune, paternal half-brother of General Minamotono Yoritomo who started the Kamakura shogunate government, trained for 10 years in his childhood in Kurama-dera. There are many sites related to Yoshitsune like a memorial tower, Ikitsugi-no-mizu, Fue Sakura and Sekurabe-ishi.