This temple is known to be the place where Ushiwakamaru (later Minamoto no Yoshitsune) trained with Tengu (a long‐nosed goblin). It is also popular as a sacred power place.

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This shrine is the headquarters of Kurama Koukyou, a sect of Buddihsm. In 770 AD, saint monk, Gantei, who was also a disciple of Ganjin, the founder of Toshodaiji Temple, enshrined Bishamonten (guardian god of Buddhism), and this is the origin of this temple. In the golden head hall, statues of Bishamonten No, Senju-Kannon Bosatsu, and Goho Maoson are enshrined. “A pair of A-Un guardian Tigers” is set near the hall. It is characteristic of enshrined “a pair of A-Un guardian tigers” rather than “a pair of A-Un guardian dogs” like in common shrines or temples because tigers are admitted as guardians for Bishamonten in this sect. The principal image is usually hidden and next open, once for 60 years, in the year of Fire Tiger (3rd year of the sexagenary cycle: the next open is in 2049). In this Iwatoko, famous and called Kongon Sho, spread in front of the golden head hall drawing “Star Mandara (a chart of Buddhas and gods symbolizing the order of the universe)”, which brings the wave from space energy making this spot popular as a secret place for tourists.

In a legend, Minamoto no Yoshitsune (Ushiwakamaru at that time) was trained with Tengu (a long‐nosed goblin) in his childhood raised in Kurama-dera. There are some spots related to his story between the Head Hall and Oku no In, walking around the path and visit is recommended for example; his training spot, alongside the path such as Ki no Nemichi , Wakimizu (spring water) for drinking water at break time, and Sekurabe Ishi, with which he compared his height.

The other highlights are also filled with such as Tudura-Ori Sando which is known to be introduced in “The Pillow Book (Makura no Soshi)” written by Sei Shonagon (966-1017 or 1025), the dismantled study of a Japanese poet, Akiko Yosano (1878-1942), and so on. In Reihoden (a museum in this temple), valuable Buddhism statues such as the National Treasure, the Three Bishamonten statues and the Important cultural property, the Sho-Kannon standing statue (Buddhist Goddess of Mercy) are enshrined.

The cable car is available from the San-Mon gate, which is a 3-minute walk from Kurama Station. It is safe for the elderly and children to go to the temple. If you have enough energy, walking around Tudura-Ori Sando to visit the Hojo-Chi and Maoh no Taki is recommended.

The sculpture of a large Tengu can be easily found around Kurama Station, dropping by souvenir shops and Japanese sweets shops when you are nearby is recommended.


  • The headquarters of Kurama Koukyou worshipping the hidden Buddhism, Sonten (a  principal image).
  • In legend, Ushiwakamaru spent his childhood in the mountain and trained with Tengu.
  • Many National Treasures and Important cultural properties are enshrined.
  • Kongon Sho invites many visitors for its secret energy.
  • The cable car is available from the San-Mon gate.


  • The Main Hall and a secret spot, Kongon Sho

    The Main Hall and a secret spot, Kongon Sho

  • Ushiwakamaru trained in Ki no Nemichi where roots from trees are complicatedly spread.

    Ushiwakamaru trained in Ki no Nemichi where roots from trees are complicatedly spread.

  • Three Bishamonten statues (the National Treasure)

    Three Bishamonten statues (the National Treasure)

  • The cable car is available from the San-Mon gate.

    The cable car is available from the San-Mon gate.


  • 丁亮


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Name in Japanese
Postal Code
1074 Kuramahonmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Open every day
Reihoden (Kurama-yama museum): monday (the next day if it is a national holiday) and December 12th- the end of February.
9:00am-4:15pm (Reihoden: 9:00 am- 4:00 pm)
Aizan Hi (the admission to enter the mountain): 300 yen
Reihoden (Kurama-yama museum): 200 yen
Cable Car: one-way fare adults 200 yen
one-way fare elementary schooler and younger: 100 yen
A 3-minute walk (to the Nio- Mon gate) from Kurama Station on Eizan Railway. A 30-minute walk to the Main Hall or a 10-minute walk from Tahoto Station on Kurama-dera Cable from the gate.
Credit Cards
Not accepted
Official Website
Official Website (Japanese)