Jakkoin Temple 寂光院
Find peace in a tranquil mountain temple
You'll find serene Jakkoin Temple nestled in the mountains of Ohara in the northeast of Kyoto. Its rural setting offers an oasis from the bustling city below.
How to Get There
Jakkoin Temple is located north of Kyoto and can be accessed by train from Kyoto Station and then a bus ride and a walk or taxi ride.
To get to Ohara from Kyoto Station , take the Keihan Line to Demachiyanagi Station. Then you can catch bus number 17 to Ohara which is a 40-minute ride. Once there, it's a 20-minute walk west to Jakkoin.
Destroyed by arson
Jakkoin is thought to have been built around the seventh century by Shotoku Taishi in memory of his father, the Emperor Yomei. At more than a thousand years old, the main hall tragically burned down in the year 2000 due to arson but was rebuilt in 2005.
The entrance to Jakkoin is marked by a steep flight of stairs. The main hall holds a statue of Jizo, the Buddhist deity and guardian of travelers, women and children. This temple was also a nunnery where an empress once lived.
Stop by the art gallery
On the temple grounds is an art gallery with displays of ancient calligraphy scrolls and old Japanese paintings. You can purchase limited-edition charms made from a revered 1,000-year-old pine tree that was lost in the fire.
A short tour explaining the history of the temple is offered in Japanese in the main hall.
Stay for the day
Jakkoin is near Sanzen Temple, more popular with tourists but less serene. If you arrive early, visit both temples and hike the nearby nature trail, which leads to other small temples like Jikkoin and most landmarks of the area, including a beautiful waterfall.
Come in early autumn for a delightful getaway to see the leaves, which turn colors earlier than in other parts of Kyoto.
There are many restaurants in the area as well as a few ryokan, or Japanese-style inns, featuring onsen. The food on offer is delicious and often suitable for vegetarians. There are also various gift shops selling souvenirs and handmade crafts in the quaint village of Ohara.