About Toganosan Kosanji

The mountainous Takao area in the northern part of Kyoto has long been associated with asceticism. Temples were established in the area as early as the eighth century, but fell into disuse by the twelfth century. Then in 1206 the former emperor Gotoba instructed the highly influential priest Myoe (1173–1232) to rebuild the temple. Its name, Kosanji, or “high-mountain temple,” was inspired by a passage in the Flower Garland Sutra, an important scripture for Kegon Buddhism. The temple is popularly pronounced “Kozanji,” but the official pronunciation is Kosanji.

Kosanji became known as a temple of learning due to Myoe’s dedication to Buddhist study and practice. He was also a lover of religious arts, and frequently invited distinguished artists and intellects to the temple. The rich milieu he cultivated lives on in many treasures passed down from the Heian period (794–1185), a time when art and literature flourished, and the Kamakura period (1185–1333), notable for the spread of new Buddhist thought in Japan. Many of the paintings, statues, and documents at the temple survived devastating fires in the sixteenth century and are still in excellent condition.

Myoe is also remembered for popularizing tea in Japan. He cultivated tea near Kosanji, and the temple still harvests tea from a small plot every year. Tea producers from around the country honor Myoe to this day in recognition of his key role in Japan’s tea tradition.


For visitors

Temple name
Toganosan Kosanji
〒616-8295 8 Umegahata Togano-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto
Visiting hours
Entrance fee
Free (500 yen in autumn only)
Sekisui-in entrance fee

By public transport

From JR Kyoto Station
Take JR bus to Togano/Shūzan and get off at Togano (about 55 minutes)
From Karasuma-Line Shijo Station
Take Kyoto city bus #8 to Takao/Togano and get off at Togano

By car

About 40 minutes from Kyoto Minami IC. Please use the following parking lots.

Kyoto City Takao Parking Area (near Togano bus stop)

Capacity : 50 cars
Parking fee : Free ※Charged in November only

Takao Parking Area (in Arashiyama-Takao Parkway)

Parking fee : Charged ※Please check the official website