Have you ever heard of Rurikoin?
It is the quiet temple situated in Yase, at the foot of Hieizan (Mount Hiei) in Kyoto.
Yase is located northeast of the downtown area in Kyoto such as Kyoto station and Kawaramachi station, and is a wonderful region with the crisp air and the beautiful river; it is hard for anyone to imagine that it is part of a big city like Kyoto.
Rurikoin is the long-established temple only five-minutes’ walk from Eizan Electric Railway’s Yase Hieizanguchi station, and has gradually become famous for the scenery from its room.
The view is so beautiful and otherworldly that it would make you dizzy.
I introduce Rurikoin in this article, the place with the best view in Kyoto.
How is it? A scenery that is just out-of-this-world is spread before your eyes.
This is the view seen from the second floor of Rurikoin, and it is what makes this temple so famous.
My friend asked me to come with her, telling me that there was the view she wanted to see once in her life, and we went together. It was just superb.
I have never known about this place and was surprised to see that the world like this existed in Kyoto.
“Yuka midori (reflecting green)”, the green outside reflected on the floor, is beautiful.
You just sit facing outside, and boom, you get the fantastic picture.
Isn’t it nice to be able to take stylish photos like this? In Rurikoin, you can take a lot of great pictures.
This photo was taken in a different season from the above photo: the season of autumn leaves, which is about November to December.
I won’t make any comment, for any word would feel like a cliché compared to this photo.
Just by looking at it, you can tell how wonderful Rurikoin is.
Ruri no niwa (Japanese-style garden)
The main garden of Rurikoin, which portrays the Land of Happiness in Buddhism.
Dozens of different types of moss spread around like a rug.
This, too, is a breathtaking scenery…
Now this is the Japanese art.
When the season of autumn leaves comes, you can watch the truly beautiful contrast of colors created by moss and maple leaves.
Just like a couple madly in love!
Important points on visiting Rurikoin
◆Check the open period
Rurikoin is usually not open to the public for sightseeing, for preservation purposes of the valuable cultural heritage.
However, due to the high demand from many people recently, it has become open only during spring and autumn.
It is called “the rare view”, for its magical scenery and the short open period.
Make sure to visit Rurikoin within the open period if you are planning to go there.
In 2018, it was open from April 15th to June 15th, and from October 1st to December 10th.
If you want to know the official announcement, check the official website of Rurikoin.
◆Be quiet while looking around
Rurikoin is an impressive temple with an ancient and honorable origin.
Everyone visits this place to calm their mind. Be sure not to make a fuss.
When you close your eyes and keep silent for a while, you can even hear the frogs call in the garden.
◆It will be very crowded
It will be very crowded from mid-November, during its open period in autumn. Social media comes in handy to grasp the real-time information about how crowded it is. Check it thoroughly.
It tends to be comparatively quiet during the season of green maple leaves in spring, or in October before leaves change its color.
You won’t be able to see fully tinted autumn leaves, but it will be nice to visit during this time, too.
Why don't you visit Rurikoin?
Rurikoin used to be a hidden gem among countless touristic places in Kyoto.
But as social media such as Instagram and Facebook spread, the beautiful scenery of Rurikoin has gotten people’s attention and has become very popular.
The fact that it is a not well-known place makes it even more appealing, but do let your friends know about it, for anyone would love to see such a beautiful scenery. I am sure it will please every tourist.
The admission fee to Rurikoin is 2,000 yen; quite pricey compared to other temples and shrines in Kyoto.
But Rurikoin is definitely worth more than that. I recommend you visit during the periods of breathtaking scenery.
Do check it out with your own eyes.
Rurikoin temple ＜瑠璃光院＞
55 Kamitakanohigashiyama, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
|Admission fee||2,000 yen (tax included)|
|Open||Approximately two month in spring and autumn (varies each year)|
|Access||・[Eizan Electric Railway] Five-minutes’ walk from “Yase Hieizanguchi station”
・[Eizan Cable (Keifuku Cable Line)] Five-minutes’ walk from “Yase station”
・[Kyoto Bus] Seven-minutes’ walk from “Yase eki mae” station
*There is no parking spot. Please use public transportation.