Bokusenji Temple (墨染寺)

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Bokusenji Temple is also known as Sakura-dera Temple, and the name of the nearby train station is also Bokusen. In the Heian period (794-1185), a poet, Mineo Ueno, composed a poem at the death of Mototsune Fujiwara, saying, “Cherry blossoms in the fields of Fukakusa, if you have a heart, bloom only this year in Sumizome” (Kokinshu). The name of the temple might come from the light-ink colored cherry blossoms that bloomed.
However, the temple where the cherry blossoms were located at that time was called Joganji Temple, which was abolished during the Onin War. With the permission of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Bokusenji was reconstructed on the site of Joganji Temple. And at that time, the temple transplanted Bokusen cherry trees to the present location.

I went to Bokusenji Temple with high expectations because it is a cherry blossom temple. But it is a small temple, and although it is beautiful, it cannot be a famous place for cherry blossoms. I heard that the Sumizome-zakura is the fourth generation of cherry trees, and although I could see the flowers, I was a little disappointed because the trees were so small.

Kyoto City Official Travel Guide

Nearby spots from Bokusenji Temple

Fujimori Jinja Shrine, possibly founded by Empress Jingu, features stunning wisteria tunnels and hosts a Festival celebrating sacred flowers.

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  1. […] Bokusenji Temple, also known as Sakura-dera, features cherry blossoms, with history rooted in the Heian period. […]