• Zenrin-ji Temple (Eikan-do)
  • Zenrin-ji Temple (Eikan-do)
  • Zenrin-ji Temple (Eikan-do)
  • Zenrin-ji Temple (Eikan-do)
  • Zenrin-ji Temple (Eikan-do)

Zenrin-ji Temple (Eikan-do)



Zenrin-ji Temple has been known as a scenic spot for autumn leaves since the time of the Kokin Wakashu (a collection of ancient Japanese poetry). Founded by Shinjo Sozu in 853, the temple was originally a training hall for Shingon Esoteric Buddhism but gradually became a Jodo Buddhist invocation training hall after 1072 when the seventh chief priest Yokan (commonly known as Eikan) entered the temple. In fact, Eikan-do derives its name from Eikan. The multi-level temple site features structures including Kohojo, Zuishi-den, Shaka-do Hall, Miei-do Hall, Amida-do Hall, and Kaizan-do Hall, all connected by a corridor. The temple houses a host of treasures such as the statue of Amida Nyorai, known as ”Mikaeri Amida Nyorai” (an Important Cultural Property), Kondo-rengemon-kei (a gilt bronze Buddhist ritual gong with a lotus flower design) (National Treasure), and Yamagoshi Amida-zu (image of the Descent of Amida over a Mountain). Visiting in autumn will give you the chance to see an exhibition of a selection of temple treasures.

One of the best places to view autumn leaves in Kyoto, appearing in the Kokin Wakashu
The Kokin Wakashu mentions the beauty of autumn leaves around Zenrin-ji Temple in ”The Autumn Leaves of Eikan-do.” The temple's grounds feature around 3,000 maple trees, including the varieties Acer palmatum and Acer amoenum. Be sure to catch the exquisite reflection of autumn leaves on the surface of the Hojo-ike Pond.

Amida Nyorai looked back and said ”Yokan, you are slow.”
The Amida-do Hall enshrines Mikaeri Amida Nyorai (Amitabha looking back). In 1082 when Yokan was walking around the statue of Amida while praising Nenbutsu (chanting a Buddhist invocation), the Amida came down from the altar and began to lead Yokan. The surprised Yokan stopped in his tracks, and the Amida looked back over its left shoulder and said ”Yokan, you are slow.” The pose of the Mikaeri Nyorai expresses the Amida's deep mercy towards Yokan.

Walk inside the body of a dragon and feel the subtle, profound ambience
The corridor connecting the Miei-do Hall, Amida-do Hall, and Kaizan-do Hall is called ”Garyuro (Reclining Dragon Corridor).” With its steep stairs, this corridor evokes a dragon crawling across mountains. Walking the corridor makes you feel as if you were walking inside the body of a dragon.

Location Information

  • Address

    48, Eikandocho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 606-8445

  • Nearest Station
    Keage Station
    ・ Tozai Line
    15 minutes on foot
  • Phone Number
    Available languages
    only in Japanese
  • Hours
    9:00am - 5:00pm
    *Reception ends at 16:00
  • 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.