Kyoto Temples & Shrines: Gantokuji Temple
Hobodaiin Gantokuji Temple, Oharano 願徳寺
History of Gantokuji Temple, Oharano
Gantokuji Temple is famous for its seated image of Kannon, in this case an androgynous version of the Goddess of Mercy, which is designated as a National Treasure.
The history of the temple is somewhat obscure but it may date from the 7th century, though none of the buildings date from that time. The Treasure House (pictured above) which contains the image of Kannon was built in the 1970s.
The grounds of Gantokuji Temple are walled and contain a small garden.
Gantokuji Temple is the last temple of the 33 Rakusai Kannon pilgrimage in south western Kyoto and Nagaoka which begins at Yoshiminedera.
1223-2 Oharano Minamikasugacho
Tel: 075 331 3823
Admission: 400 yen.
Out of season in February you may have to ring the buzzer to be admitted. No photographs of the Kannon are allowed. The ones pictured here are scans of postcards available from reception.
Gantokuji Temple Access - How to get to Gantokuji Temple in Oharano
From Kyoto Station take a JR Kyoto Line train to Mukomachi Station (180 yen, 7 minutes) or a Hankyu Line train from Shijo Kawaramachi Station, Shijo Karasuma or Shijo Omiya to Higashi-muko Station (20 minutes, 220 yen). From both stations take the #63 or #65 bus to Minami Kasugacho, the last stop. The journey takes 20 minutes and costs 270 yen. If you miss the last bus back it is a fair walk back to the station or call a taxi. (Tel: 075 922 3156). The #65 bus runs later on weekends and public holidays.
Nearby Gantokuji Temple in Oharano
It is possible to visit Yoshiminedera and Jurinji temples to the south west in the same day but it means returning to Higashi Muko and taking another bus.
Other places to visit in the Oharano district include Oharano Shrine, Hana no Tera (Shojiji), Shoboji and Saikoji Temple.