Joshoji Temple

Joshoji Temple offers a serene escape from the bustling city of Kyoto. Its connection to Yoshino Tayu adds historical depth and cultural significance. Whether you’re visiting for the cherry blossoms, autumn leaves, or just a peaceful retreat, Joshoji is a hidden gem worth exploring.

Temple’s official WEB site

Joshoji Temple


Kyoto, Japan, is known for its temples and rich cultural heritage. One lesser-known yet enchanting site is Joshoji Temple. This temple is closely linked to the famous courtesan Yoshino Tayu. Visiting Joshoji offers a unique glimpse into history, culture, and nature.

History of Joshoji Temple

Joshoji Temple, founded in 1666 by the Buddhist monk Honkō Kokushi, is located in the Takagamine area of Kyoto. The temple has strong connections to Yoshino Tayu, one of the most renowned courtesans of the early Edo period. Yoshino Tayu, admired for her beauty and artistry, became a devotee of the temple and is said to have planted weeping cherry trees in its grounds.

Yoshino Tayu (1606-1643) excelled in poetry, orchestral music, waka, incense, and especially the tea ceremony.

She was a woman of compassion and excelled in various arts, and her charm was rooted in his devotion to the Lotus Sutra. As proof of her devotion to Joshoji Temple founder Jakushōin Nichikkōn, she donated the temple gate. The vermilion-lacquered “Yoshinomon” still remains at the temple today.

Yoshinomon Gate at Joshoji Temple


The temple is famous for its beautiful gardens, especially during the cherry blossom season. The weeping cherry trees bloom spectacularly in spring. The gardens also feature stone lanterns and serene ponds, providing a tranquil atmosphere.

The temple’s main hall houses a statue of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy. Visitors can also see the Yoshino Tayu monument, which honors her memory and contributions. The temple’s architecture is a fine example of traditional Japanese design, with intricate wooden carvings and peaceful surroundings.

There is a tea tea house “Ihoan” donated by Tayu Yoshino. Its round window is also known as “Yoshino window. It is not a perfect circle with the bottom missing. This is expressing the imperfection of human beings.

Yoshinomad window of Joshoji Temple

Access to Joshoji Temple

Joshoji Temple is located in the Takagamine area, which is in the northern part of Kyoto. To get there, take the Kyoto City Bus number 6 from Kyoto Station and get off at Takagamine Genkōan-mae. The temple is a short walk from the bus stop. Alternatively, you can take a taxi from central Kyoto, which takes around 30 minutes.

Seasonal Highlights

Spring is the most popular time to visit Joshoji Temple. The weeping cherry trees burst into bloom, creating a breathtaking sight. Autumn is also beautiful, with the temple gardens showcasing vibrant red and orange foliage. These seasonal changes make the temple a year-round attraction.

Joshoji in the Azarea season

On the 2nd Sunday of April, the temple celebrate “Yoshino Tayu Hana-kuyo” in memory of Yoshino Tayu.

Nearby Attractions

While 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 away.

Koetsuji Temple is another nearby temple. This temple is famous for its beautiful gardens. These gardens showcase traditional Japanese landscaping. In autumn, the gardens are a vibrant tapestry of red and gold leaves.

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