Of all the temples and shrines I’ve visited in Kyoto, my favourite has to be the little-known Kōtō-in (高桐院), a sub-temple of Daitoku-ji (大徳寺). I discovered it purely by chance four years ago on my first trip to Kyoto and decided to pay a return visit.
The entrance is preceded by a stone pathway cut through an immaculate moss carpet lined by perfectly proportioned pine trees.
It was established in 1601 as a family temple by the famous Japanese samurai warrior Hosokawa Tadaoki (細川 忠興) who is buried within the temple grounds.
Take a seat on the veranda overlooking the garden to soak it all in and, just for a moment, forget the world outside.
Kōtō-in can be found on the western edge of Daitoku-ji – take a look at my original post for more details and photos.