Genko-an Temple

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Genko-an is not just a place of beauty but a journey through history, culture, and spiritual reflection. It’s a must-visit for anyone seeking peace and understanding in the heart of Kyoto.

Temple’s official WEB site

Discover Genko-an Temple in Kyoto: A Haven of Serenity and Tradition

Introduction to Genko-an

Genko-an, located in Kyoto, is famed for its serene ambiance and deep spiritual heritage. This temple offers a unique glimpse into Zen Buddhism and traditional Japanese architecture.

Genko-an Temple

History and Significance

Founded in 1346 by Priest Tettou Gikou, Genko-an is a pivotal site for Zen meditation. It’s known for its “blood ceiling,” panels made from the floorboards of Fushimi Castle, where warriors met their end during a historical battle just before the battle of Sekigahara.

Blood ceiling in Genko-an

Architectural Highlights

The temple features two notable windows: the “Window of Enlightenment” and the “Window of Confusion,” symbolizing the dual paths of human life. These architectural elements provide visitors with a profound metaphor for enlightenment and illusion.

Window of Enlightenment and Window of Confusion, Genko-an Temple

Seasonal Beauty

Genko-an is particularly breathtaking during autumn. The vibrant red and orange leaves frame the temple’s tranquil setting, making it a popular spot for photographers and nature lovers.

In other seasons, I like May with its fresh greenery.

Accessing Genko-an

Located in the quiet Taka-cho neighborhood of Kyoto, Genko-an is accessible by bus from Kyoto Station. Visitors can take the city bus and alight at the Takagamine Genkoan-mae stop.

You can also come to this temple from Kinkakuji Temple by walking along a quiet path along the river.

Other temples with the blood ceiling in Kyoto

The blood ceiling is made of planks from the corridor where over 380 Tokugawa warriors, including Mototada Torii died. They holed up in Fushimi Castle just before the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, committed suicide and perished.

Three more temples have blood ceilings. They are Shodenji Temple, Yogen-in Temple, and Hosenin Temple.

Other attractions in the Takagamine area

Koetsuji Temple is associated with Hon’ami Koetsu, an artist of the early Edo period. The view from the garden is spectacular.

Another temple in this area is Joshoji Temple. A famous geisha in Edo period, Yoshino Tayu donated a gate to this temple.

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  1. […] Takagamine area hosts several small but beautiful temples. Other sites in Takagamine include Genko-an Temple, where you can see famous “Window of Enlightenment” and “Window of […]

  2. […] The floorboards wet with blood at that time can be seen as ceiling boards at Yogen-in temple, Genko-an Temple, Hosenin Temple, and other […]

  3. […] visiting Joshoji Temple, you can also explore nearby attractions. Genko-an Temple, famous for its beautiful gardens and unique circular and square windows, is just a short walk […]