Koryu-ji - the oldest temple in Kyoto - was established in the first part of the 7th century. It is best known for its wooden image of Bodhisattva called "Miroku-Bosatsu-Hanka-Shii-zo  (a Bodhisattva who is supposed to appear in the future world as the successor of the Buddha)" This image was the first registered national treasure in Japan.

Shotoku Taishi, who promoted Buddhism early on in Japan, gave the image to Hatano Kawakatsu in 603. The latter built the temple to enshrine the image. The image is believed to have originally been a gift from the Korean court to Prince Shotoku Taishi. It now stands in a temple building, along with many other 1,000 year old statues. Photography is prohibited.

The Ko-do, the hall in which the priests read the Buddhist scriptures, is from the 12th century, while other structures were rebuilt in the 17th century. The Ko-do, which is the oldest building of this temple, has beautiful vermilion pillars. It is designated by the national government as an Important Cultural Property. 

Enshrined in this building is the seated figure of the Amida-Nyorai Buddha, who presides over paradise. This Amida-Nyorai Buddha is a National Treasure. Next to this are a Buddha who is believed to save people from suffering after the death of the Buddha, a seated figure of the Jizo-Bosatsu (the loftiest Buddha of the Mikkyo sect), the Buddha who stays at the side of the Dainichi-Nyorai Buddha, and a seated figure of the Kokuzo-Bosatsu. 

All of these are designated by the national government as Important Cultural Properties. Housed in the Reiho-den, a hall containing treasures of the temple precinct, are many ancient Buddhist images, including the Miroku-Bosatsu, paintings, writings, and ancient documents, all of which are designated as either National Treasures or cultural properties.

The temple was destroyed by fire in 818 and 1150 but was restored thereafter.


32 Uzumasa-hachioka-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto.
Tel: 075-861-1461

Keifuku Railway Uzumasa-Koryuju sta. stop. City Bus Sakyo-ku-sougouchosha-mae stop 2 min walk.

Reihoukan Temple 9:00am - 5:00pm (9:00am - 4:30pm Dec-Feb); Keigu-in - every Sunday, national holidays open (Apr, May, Oct, Nov)

Grounds - Free; Museum - General: 700 yen; High School Students: 500 yen; Junior High School Students and under: 400 yen; Reihoukan Temple - Adult 700 yen; Keigu-in - Adult 200 yen.