A quiet temple, hidden away in Arashiyama, Kyoto
Away from the tourist crowds of Arashiyama, Giouji Temple sits in quiet solitude. If you were looking for peace and quiet in Kyoto and realized it has become a huge tourist trap, Giouji might be the sanctuary you’re looking for. It appears in the “Tale of the Heike.”
Most of Giouji Temple is pure greenery, with moss carpets covering a large percentage of the temple grounds. The grounds are pretty compact, so it’s not going to take you too long to go through all of it.
That said, the whole place feels otherworldly. There are no monks milling about to bring us back to the present. There were some minor attractions, such as omikuji and charms, that hinted of modernity. But otherwise, the serenity of the temple grounds made it totally worth the trek. If you have some time, you can sit inside the little house, read up on the history, and relax.
We went around 3:30pm, maybe an hour before the temple closed to new visitors. There were about four or five other people — not enough to be rowdy or photobombing all of your shots.
So if you’re in Arashiyama, why not take a stroll in Giouji Temple? You can get there by going north of the bamboo forests of Arashiyama Park.
Did I mention it’s only 300 yen?