Jo-sho‐ji is the quiet holy temple in Takagamine, the north of Kyoto city. A famous beautiful Japanese women in Edo period, Yoshino (1606-1643) has the connection with this temple. There are the red gate she built and a tea house here. Although it’s quiet temple usually, the tea ceremony festival called “the memorial service for the flower” is held in the 2nd Sunday in every April.
Not only tea ceremony of Matcha (powdered green tea), the leaf green tea ceremony called “sen-cha” is also held together.
Takagamine area is the hometown of Japanese arts
Walking on a little bit steep slope from Senbon-Kitaoji intersection, there is Takagamine area where Honami Koetsu(1558-1637) has made the artists’ village in those days. Takagamine was flourished by his art in Edo- period.
He is known as the artists of calligraphy and pottery especially. Some of his tea bowls are kept in the museums in Japan with great care as the important cultural properties.
Josho-ji temple is one of the temple built on the land dedicated by Koetsu. The sect of Budhism is Nichiren.
Although it’s very quiet temple now, a lot of priests were learning together in those days.
The deep connection with a beautiful lady Yoshino-tayu
What’s “Tayu”? It is the identification of the highest position for Geiko or Maiko (women entertainers). The tayu of Josho-ji temple is the 2nd Yoshino-tayu. It’s said that a lot of men were fascinated by her beauty and talents in those days.
She got married when she was 28 years old with Haiya Joeki, who was also learning well about tea ceremony, flower arrangements, calligraphy, Japanese poems etc. Unfortunately, she has passed away when she was 38 years old, but her spirit has been remained in the red big gate called “Yoshino gate” in Jo-shoji temple.
We can see the line of Tayu walking under this gate even now in the festival day in April. A lot of people visit to see Tayu.
Iho-an tea house Yoshino Tayu loved
Iho-an is the tea house Yoshino tayu loved. It is closed usually, but Urasenke, which is the tea ceremony school I belong to, hold tea ceremony in the festival day every year.
The big circle window is called “Yoshino’s window”. It seems like perfect round circle at once, but actually, the under line is the strait, not circle. It means this is not perfect. If you look or touch Japanese tea bowls, you can see it’s often not perfect round. Sometimes they are curved or chipped We often love imperfect beauty.
When we have tea ceremony here, Japanese paper (sho-ji) is patched, and it will be more beautiful.
It’s still cold in Kyoto, but I’m looking forward the festival in spring, when cherry blossoms are blooming in Japan.
Yoshino Tayu festival
April 10th in 2016（Sun）9：00～15：00
3 tea ceremony and Japanese noodle(soba)
Ticket sold in advance 4500yen
Ticket of the day 5000yen
1 kita takagamine-cho takagamine Kita- ku Kyoto