Kurama-dera Temple

Kyoto, Kansai

Feel the energy of nature in the temple built by a Buddhist saint in response to a revelation

The temple was built by venerable Gantei Shonin in response to a revelation of a deity. It is also known as a temple where tragic military commander Minamoto Yoshitsune spent his childhood, and provides the setting for “Kurama Tengu,” a masterpiece Noh play focused on Yoshitune. At its entrance is Nio-mon gate, serving as the border between the temporal world and the sacred grounds. Nios (Deva Kings) are guardians of Buddhism. Nio statues in Niomon were created by Tankei, a master sculptor who was active from the end of the 12th century to the 13th century.

The entire mountain of Kurama is a natural science museum. Visitors pay 200 yen at Niomon to enter the grounds. The area is full of natural blessings, such as primary forests of firs and hemlock. The hexagram in front of the main hall indicates a spot where energy descends from above, which makes it a popular place among young people in recent years.

The famous Kurama Fire Festival is held on October 22 every year. A group of energetic people holding torches departs from in front of the gate, walks around the town, and returns to Yuki Shrine on the grounds. On the day, 20,000 people visit the small town in the mountains.


1074 Kurama-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
9:00-16:30 (Treasure Room; 9:00-16:00)
Admission Fee
200 yen
Open all year (Treasure Room is closed on Mondays and December 12-February 1)

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