Jojakko-ji temple can be found on the western outskirts of Kyoto city and within a short walk from the popular Arashiyama Bamboo forest. The temple features a two-story pagoda, several shrines, unique buildings, and several viewing spots. Upon approaching the main gate you will reach the ticket booth as there is a 500 yen fee to enter the grounds.
Once inside, you are free to walk around and enjoy the temple's peaceful atmosphere. The abundance of trees, ponds, streams, and walkways create a naturally photogenic scene and leave a presence that feels ethereal. One thing that will stand out is the clear attention to detail, with every part of the temple grounds carefully well-kept throughout the year.
Jojakko-ji temple's natural beauty helps it remain scenic throughout the year. The abundant foliage changes with the seasons creating an environment unique to the time of year. In the fall there are bright reds, deep oranges, and vibrant yellows. In the winter the grounds become caked with snow and covered in ice, creating one spectacular winter wonderland. In the spring you’ll be greeted with pink, purple, and white cherry blossoms, and in the summer be surrounded by a variety of greens.
If the well-kept gardens of the temple are not enough for you then perhaps the one-of-a-kind view is. Jojakko-ji temple features a hiking path that leads you uphill and eventually to a viewing platform. From here you can get a full view of Kyoto with views of the mountainscape on the horizon. The platform is located high above the foliage and structures throughout the temple so that there is nothing in your way. Take this time to enjoy the scenery while sitting on one of the benches to recover your energy from the hike.
Every bit of this temple is a calculated experience. From the placement of trees, flowers, and the buildings around you, everything feels like it's where it belongs. The peaceful and scenic routes that you will find yourself walking embody what it feels like to visit Kyoto and that is what makes this temple so special. Also, it's not as famous as some of the surrounding temples, so it’s likely that crowds will be low. When you find yourself in Kyoto, keep Jojakko-ji on your list of places to check out.