The number of Komyo-ji temples in Japan is quite large, and even in Kyoto there's a few already (see for example Kurodani's Komyo-ji). This Komyo-ji is located in Nagaoka city in the west of Kyoto; it's official name is Sohonzan Koumyou-ji (総本山光明寺) but we'll just call it Komyo-ji ;) The temple was built around 1200.
The temple's most interesting place, its garden, is only accessible in autumn (and maybe early summer). As other places in the temple are only really worth visiting in autumn anyway it's not a big deal. At the peak of the season there's a traffic jam of tourist buses in front of the temple, and I can't blame them too much because the alley leading to the temple is indeed beautifully red/yellow. That should explain why access to the temple grounds is free... except during the peak season.
The garden, however, is much quieter, especially near the end of the day when tourists run to get back to their bus. The rock garden is one of the few that can be seen (and photographed) from above as a path descend to it from the main hall. Interestingly, another notable garden that can be seen from above is... Komyo-in (光明院) (only during the high season though). Very similar name, isn't it?
Recommended for: Access:
Nearby: Bamboo road 竹の径 (690m), Chōhō-inari-jinja 長法稲荷神社 (1km)
External links: Website, ウィキペディア, Kyoto Design, 京都風光, Marutake, そうだ京都, Satellite view, Map
Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kyoto, 京都, 向日, 長岡, Muko, Nagaoka, Komyo-ji, 光明寺, temple, 寺院, 仏閣