This is one of the few Soto Zen temples in the greater Kyoto area. It was the first temple founded by the great Zen Master Dogen (13th century) who wrote some of his most important works here. The temple (was) burnt down after a few years and Dogen went on to found Eiheiji. Koshoji was forgotten until it was rebuilt in the 17th century and furtunatelly was not damaged until now. These buildings could host more than 100 monks but only 8 live there right now. You can ring at the building on the right side of the inner court. A monk will probably come and allow you to visit the main hall and the founders building. The very friendly Tenzo (priest and cook) speeks some English. Ask for the English one-pager that provides key information This temple is a place of Zen practice and not a tourist showplace. It is worth visiting to taste the spirit of practice and to enjoy the great setting of this temple.
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