Koumyouji and Yoshiminedera Temples

Last week we had another pleasant trip to visit the 20th temple of the pilgrimage of the 33 temples in Kansai : Yoshiminedera. It's located not far away from Kyoto, almost at the top of Ponpon mountain near Mukou city (south west of Kyoto), and has been built by Genzan Shounin in 1029. Then we decided to go there by bicycle, and to make a stop at the Koumyouji temple which was on the way, at the foot of Ponpon mountain.
From Kyoto, ride on the Gojo street toward west, when you meet the road #67 go down south until Mukou city, and then follow the direction for Koumyouji. From there the road #208 will bring you to the Yoshiminedera. (Google map) From Mukou city, the landscape is getting enjoyable, and around the Koumyouji we've been surprised by the number of bamboo forests.
The Koumyouji seems to be a very interesting place for momiji sightseeing. At the moment, only few leaves have turned red, and we could benefit of the 'off season' entrance fee and peaceful atmosphere. The monk also let us kindly go and enter by ourselves in a secondary building with a beautiful Buddha statue. Alone on this peaceful place, listening at birds and wind in the trees, seated on the fragrant tatami... we would have taken a nap rather than heading to the steep slope toward Yoshiminedera !
When we reached it, the fresh air of the mountain overcame our sweating bodies. Don't forget to bring a jacket if you go there ! We parked on the bus area at the entrance of the temple precinct and continued by foot. The Yoshiminedera is very vast. A recommended walk is provided at the entrance and we followed it. The view of Kyoto is absolutely wonderful. I'm certain that's a unique spot to see at once all the bonfires of Okuribi... Also it's a kind of paradise if you love greenery as it's a 'flower temple', a temple gathering and protecting a wide variety of plants. The masterpiece is a 600 years' old pine whose branches spread 52 meters long (actually it's currently a little less due to some disease but anyway) !!

And now some pictures :


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