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Kurama Temple

Kurama TempleMap around KuramaKurama Temple is a Buddhist temple in the mountain located about 15 km north of central Kyoto.
In Japanese, it is called "Kuramadera".

It was founded in 770 by Gantei.
Gantei was one of disciples of Ganjin (688-763).
Ganjin was a excellent Chinese high priest and became a naturalized Japanese in 752.

Gantei was told that there was a sacred mountain to the north of Kyoto, in a dream. Then he traveled toward north.
And he saw a white horse flying over a mountain.
In the mountain, he found a statue of Bishamonten, one of the gods of Buddhism. So he built a temple to enshrine the statue.
It was current Kurama Temple.

In 796, a nobleman hoping to build a temple also came here with seeing a flying white horse.
But he want to enshrine a statue of Kan'non. The existing temple had the Bishamonten, so he wondered why a different statue was here.
On the night, he was taught that Kan'non and Bishamonten came from a same god, in a dream.
So he enshrined a statue of Kan'non with Bishamonten.

In 1947, a new god was added into this temple. It is "Gohou-Maouson".
It is a god who came here from Venus 650 million years old ago. He looks like an old man with beards, a red face and a long nose, and has wings on his back like angel.
In general, it is called "Tengu".

To visit here, Eizan Electric Railway is convenient.
There is Niomon gate after about 10 minutes' walk from Kurama terminal station of the railroad.
The main temple is on the mountainside, and the difference in height is about 160 meters.
If you go up to there on foot, you must walk on a very steep way about 1.1 km long. It takes over 30 minutes.
On the way, there is Yuki Shrine.

But a cable car is set up. It leads to a height of about 120 meters. You must go up remaining 40 meters high for about 500 meters long.
(The temple recommends visiting on foot.)

There are some buildings in the temple grounds.
The buildings had sometimes been destroyed by fire in a long time.
The main temple "Kondou" was rebuilt in 1971, and the other buildings were rebuilt in the 20th century.
There is the museum housing the three important statues in the temple grounds. They are designated as national treasures.

There is small Maouden temple enshrining Gohou-Maouson about 1 km northwest of the temple grounds.
And Kifune Shrine is about 0.6 km to the west of Maouden.
These are connected with a steep mountain trail, and it is another route to visit Kuramadera.

How to get to here

By railroad

By Eizan Electric Railway, from Demachiyanagi to Kurama, about 30 minutes.
To Demachiyanagi station, about 23 minutes from Kyoto station by route bus with route No. 17.
Or, Demachiyanagi is also the terminal station of Keihan Line, so it is convienient to come from the area around the east side of Kamo River such as Sanjo, Gion or Kiyomizudera.

Eizan Electric Railway
Photo by Railstation.net
Monument of Tengu in front of Kurama station
Photo by Railstation.net
Niomon gate
Photo by Railstation.net
Cable car
Photo by Railstation.net
Yuki Shrine along climbing trail
Photo by Railstation.net
Trail to Maouden
Photo by Railstation.net
Maouden temple
Photo by Railstation.net

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