Kōgen-ji (弘源寺)
Kōgen-ji (弘源寺)

As a sub-temple of Tenryu-ji (天龍時), Kougen-ji is logically located on its grounds but it was not always so: Kogen-ji was originally at the foot of Mt. Ogura when it was founded in 1429. It was moved to Tenryu-ji in 1884 after a succession of fires and series of other moves. The temple was built by Hosokawa Mochiyuki, a noble person with a high rank in the Muromachi shogunate. The current main hall was built during the early 17th century in the Kyakuden style (more residential-like than temple-like).

When visiting the temple, one can see large cuts in the wood of some pillars (clearly indicated by large Japanese explanations). These are sword (or rather katana) marks that were made by partisans of the Choshu clan who were staying there temporarily during the war that preceded the Meiji restoration. Just to test the sharpness of their blades! History doesn't say if sake was involved...

The garden of the temple is of the classic dry landscape type, and uses Mt. Arashiyama in its background as "borrowed landscape". The ceiling of the hall is decorated with numerous paintings, and many sliding doors and walls of the abbot's quarters are also beautifully painted. Note for instance the collection of fan-shaped paintings, a classic design that can also be seen in the Sumiya (角屋) house. The temple is very strict about the conservation of the paintings and other artefacts so that the glass doors of the temple that overlook the dry garden are closed most of the time, probably to keep temperature and humidity constant. The glass of these doors is covered with a film (possibly UV cut) which makes it impossible to shoot pictures with a polariser. Thus no pictures of the garden at this time...

Recommended for: Access:

Nearby: Nonomiya-jinja 野宮神社 (240m), Hōgon-in 宝厳院 (300m), Rinsen-ji 臨川寺 (320m), Bamboo alley 嵯峨竹林 (330m), Shōkaku-ji 正覚寺 (420m), Okochi Sansō villa 大河内山荘 (600m), Furoan フロアン (620m), Rakushisha 落柿舎 (670m), Hōrin-ji 法輪寺 (710m), Kachū-an 霞中庵 (720m),...

Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kansai, 関西, Kinki, 近畿, Kyoto, 京都, 嵐山, arashiyama, temple, お寺, 寺院, 卍, 仏閣, 天龍寺, tenryuji, tenryu-ji, UNESCO world heritage, 弘源寺, Kougen-in, Kogen-in

Visited on 2 occasions, id: 460, 3 photos.

Photos of Kōgen-ji:

Wooden lantern, Kougen-in temple
Kogen-in temple hall