Jingo-ji (The Temple of Holy Protection) is a a famous temple of the Shingon school founded by Wake no Kiyomaro in 781, a Nara courtier in late 8 century. It was inhabited by Kukai for 14 years while he established the foundations of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism.

<< You can buy small clay (kawarake) discs with wishes on them, and pitch them off the side of the hill and into the valley below.


Wake no Kiyomaro was instrumental in foiling a plot by the priest Dokyo to usurp the throne. This was the event that shocked the Nara court into its resolution to move the capital. Looking for a true and unsullied Buddhism, Wake no Kiyomaro came to Takao and founded Jingoji in 781. He retired to this silent mountain, to this environment conducive to meditation. 

Later also Kukai and Saicho came here for peace and solitude, before they founded their own mountain temples.For the 14 years from 809, the founder of Shingon Buddhism in Japan Kobo Daishi was the abbot of this temple. It at on time became dilapidated with age but was rebuilt in Heian Period by the priest Bunkaku.

What to see

Visitors to the temple can throw clay kawarake discs into the valley that lies below in order to dispel bad karma. Numerous statues, paintings and writings from the Heian and Kamakura Periods are housed here. It is a popular spot for viewing the beautiful autumn foliage. 

Visitors can also see The Medicine Buddha of Jingo-ji is a standing statue sculpted from dark wood. The body is short, heavy and muscled, the face has great expressiveness. It is a powerful sculpture, suitable for a temple that was built to afford divine protection to a whole city.


5 Takao-cho, Umegahata, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City.
Tel: 075-861-1769

By Bus
City Bus #8 to "Takao".

9:00am - 4:00pm. The temple is losed from December 29th to 31st.

General: 500 yen; Elementary School Students and under: 200 yen.