Series early summer in Kyoto “Kawadoko Gourmet & Temple Walk in Takao”
In the mountainous region of western Kyoto, there is an area called “SANBI” famous for autumn leaves where Togano-o, Makino-o, and Takao gathered. Three old shrines are in each area, and the calming landscape spreads.
One of them is “Kozan-ji Temple” in Togano-o, a World Heritage Site. There are Japan’s oldest tea garden in the precincts, and also you can see the scenery of the majestic mountains where fully covered by the green maple from a national treasure, the Sekisui-in. And also, “Choju-Jinbutsu-Giga” that depicts anthropomorphized animals is one of the highlights of the site. It is the treasure that you want to visit and to keep in your eyes just to see the reproductions on display.
The early summer is the time to enjoy Kawadoko (terrace restaurant & café by the river or over the river), which appears over the Kiyotaki River that flows along Sanbi region, and the scenery filled with fresh green. An easy-to-walk outfit is recommended, and stroll slowly in the valley of Sanbi. Your body and mind will be refreshed after walking.
●8, Umegahata Toganoocho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City
●Free admission (* 600 yen for Sekisui-in)
Fantastic Kawadoko cuisine with sparkling light of the firefly - “Takao Kinsui-tei”
After crossing a bridge from Kozan-ji Temple, there is a Japanese style inn, “Takao Kinsui-tei” where you can enjoy the Kawadoko and Kyoto style cuisine.
At the Noryodoko (riverside summer terrace) that opens from May 1st until the end of September along with refreshing landscapes and the sound of water, you can enjoy eating luxurious Noryo-Kaiseki, which comes with local produced vegetables, sweet fish, sea eel and so on. They serve Shokado bento for lunch as well.
In the middle of June and July, there are some nights when you can see fantastic views of fireflies that have become rare in the city.
●40, Umegahata Toganoocho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City
●11:30-15:00 (L.O. 14:00), 17:00-19:30 (reservation required)
●No regular holidays
Release earthly desires by striking the bell! “Saimyo-ji Temple”
After crossing the beautifully arched Shigetsukyo Bridge, which emerges in the green, there is “Saimyo-ji Temple,” created by disciples of Kobo Daishi (St. Kobo) as a branch temple of Takao Jingo-ji Temple. The temple that is located on the bank of the valley, is enshrined with the principal image, which is said to convey the appearance of the Buddha during his lifetime.
The precincts of the temple are colored by green maples and the 600-year-old Maki tree (Chinese black pine), which was the origin of the place name. You can strike a bell with paying 100 yen in the bell tower. “Doubling amulet” that is said the money returns in double is also popular.
●1, Umegahata Makinoocho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City
●Admission fee: 500 yen
The moment of bliss with Maiko-san - “Momiji-ya”
From Momiji-ya’s Kawadoko that comes into view when you cross a suspension bridge on the Kiyotaki River, you can see the lush maple that fills the valley.
They serve “Noryo-Kaiseki,” which made with the seasonal ingredients. They also offer some summer-limited plans, which take between June 9th and September 23rd, including having a chat with Maiko at dinner, or watching a traditional Kyoto dance. Maiko accept photo shoots, so do not forget to bring your camera!
●2, Umegahata Nishinohatamachi, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City
●11:00-15:00 (L.O. 14:00), 18:00-20:30 (L.O. 19:00)
Take a rest with the homemade sweet bean paste – “Suzuriishi-tei”
Before you climb the approach to the Takao Jingo-ji Temple, why don’t you take a break in the cozy tea house?
The famous “Momiji-mochi” is a bite-sized snack, which puts homemade sweet bean paste on top of Domyoji-mochi (rice cake made from glutinous rice flour). They also offer a variety of Kyoto style menus, such as udon and yudofu. After you have the meal here, let's challenge for a steep staircase.
● 5, Umegahata Takaocho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City
● No regular holidays (Open 7 days a week in November)
The long and wide stairs are colored by fresh green – “Takao Jingo-ji Temple”
At Takao Jingo-ji Temple where Kobo Daishi has worked as a priest in the old days, the maple trees are richly flourishing on both sides of the wide stone steps leading to the Sanmon. The view that is overwhelmed by the accumulated history and the life power of nature will expand in front of you.
Inside the spacious precincts, there are many temples (temple buildings) attract your interest such as Daishido that reproduced Kobo Daishi's dwelling, Kondo where resting the principal image of national treasure created in the Heian period, and so on.
There is a valley of the Kiyotaki River, called Kin-un-kei on the hill in front of Jizo-do, and you can try “Kawarake-nage” that throws the unglazed plates towards the valley. It can be a prayer of protecting against misfortune, so let’s try!
“Takao Jingo-ji Temple”
●5, Umegahata Takaocho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City
●Admission fee: 600 yen
*The above information was last updated on March 31, 2018. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.
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