The temple that conveys the heart of tea ceremony was named after Koetsu, a multi-artist
The temple was named after Honami Koetsu, famous calligrapher, ceramic artist and master of tea ceremony in the early Edo period. Many of the tea cups, calligraphies, paintings and other works of art created by him are Important Cultural Properties of Japan. He lived and built a building to console the souls of ancestors on the land received from Tokugawa Ieyasu (one of the three great military commanders during the Warring States period of Japan.) Later he developed an art community inviting his relatives and an array of craftsmen. Around 1656 after his death, the place was made a temple.
There are seven tea houses including Taikyo-an and Sanpa-tei on the premise. Its crisscrossed bamboo fence is called Koetsu-gaki. There is also the tomb of Koetsu. With thatched bell tower and main hall, meticulously arranged and well-maintained garden, the tidy space conveys the heart of tea ceremony.
Before his death, the community used to be called "Koetsu town" with 55 houses in the area extending 200 meter from east to west and 800 meter from north to south. The treasure house of the temple exhibits old maps of the area, works of Koetsu such as tea cups, wooden statues and calligraphies. The temple is also rich with plants including red tinged autumnal leaves.
Address: 29 Takagamine Koetsu-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Hours open to visitors: 8:00-17:00
Admission Fee: 300 yen
Closed: No admission from November 10 to 13
Directions: Train: 15 minutes by City Bus Line 1 from Kyoto city subway Kitaoji Station (15 minutes from Kyoto) to Takagamine Genkoan-mae stop and 3 minutes by foot
Car: 55 minutes from Kyoto Minami Interchange on the Meishin Expressway