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In the heart of ancient Higashiyama's cobbled streets, the elegant Momoyama-era temples and teahouses of Kodai-ji are set in an expansive garden of serene pools swimming with orange carp, hills of carefully tended moss, a forest of tall bamboo, and an expanse of raked gray sand. Many of the splendid paintings and friezes inside the main temples were relocated from Fushimi Castle, parts of which were used to construct Kodai-ji in the early 1600s. The temple was a memorial to Hideyoshi Toyotomi, commissioned by his wife Nene. (The road running in front of the temple is alternately called Higashiyama-dori or Nene-no-michi.) On the hills overlooking the main temple are teahouses designed by tea master Sen-no-Rikyu; they are identifiable by their umbrella-shape bamboo ceilings and thatched roofs. Evening illumination shows in April, November, and December are a great way to see the park after dark. (Avoid holiday weekends, when the place is packed.) The temple is a five-minute walk east of the Higashiyama Yasui bus stop (take number 206 or 207).
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