Set in Ohara, in north-eastern Kyoto's Rakuhoku district is Sanzen-in Temple, one of the Five Monzeki Temples (served by head priests from the imperial family) of the Tendai sect in Kyoto. This temple originates from a small one that was built at the base of a large Pyrus pyrifolia tree on Mt. Hiei by Denkyo Daishi Saicho about 1,200 years ago. It was relocated several times in the Rakuchu district, with a name change accompanying every move. The name ”Sanzen-in Temple” came with the most recent move to its current location in Ohara after the Meiji Restoration. The Ojo Gokuraku-in Hall, which is built in the simple style, enshrines the statue of Amida Sanzon, a National Treasure. Contributing to the temple's fame are its beautiful gardens, including the Shuheki-en Garden and Yusei-en Garden. The forested Ohara area offers beautiful scenery unique to each season.

The Ojo Gokuraku-in Hall, where the statue of Amida Sanzon guides a soul to paradise
The Ojo Gokuraku-in Hall enshrines the statue of Amida Sanzon. This figure consists of Amida Nyorai that guides the soul of a dead person to paradise, and Kanzeon Bosatsu and Seishi Bosatsu, both sitting in the Yamato-zuwari style (the traditional Japanese sitting style). The ceiling of the hall is shaped like the bottom of a boat to allow enough space for the large Amida Nyorai in the center, which stand 1.9 meters high.

Two places of scenic beauty with a tranquil atmosphere
Shuheki-en Garden and Yusei-en Garden, which you can see from the guest hall, are ornamental pond-style gardens that have been designated as scenic places of Kyoto. Take time out here to experience the serene harmony between the natural greenery and the pond.

The charming mossy jizo statues in the garden
A walk through the Yusei Garden beside the Benten Pond will reveal numerous mossy jizo statues (the guardian deity of children). It's great fun to spot these charming little figures, which were created by the sculptor Takashi Sugimura, in their hiding places.

Location Information

  • Address

    540, Ohararaikouincho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 601-1242

  • Nearest Station
    Kokusaikaikan Station
    ・ Karasuma Line
    22 minutes by bus
  • Phone Number
    Available languages
    only in Japanese
  • Hours
    9:00am - 5:00pm
    8:30am - 5:00pm
    9:00am - 4:30pm
    *From December to February
  • Closed
  • Public Site
    Official Site

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※ The above information was correct at the time of updating, but there may be changes to actual prices. Please confirm the current prices when visiting.