Sanjusangen-do Temple (Kyoto) Show mapShow gallery

Please activate Javascript.

Domo arigato.
  • Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • North Gate Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • Main Hall (Hondo) Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • Main Hall (Hondo) Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • Main Hall (Hondo) Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • Main Hall (Hondo) Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • Main Hall (Hondo) Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • Sliding Doors Main Hall (Hondo) Sanjusangendo

  • Pond Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • Pond Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • Belfry Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • Honen's Stone Monument Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • East Gate Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • East Gate Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • Kuse Inari Shrine Sanjusangendo Temple

  • West Gate Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • West Gate Roof Detail Sanjusangendo Temple

  • Outer Wall Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

  • South Gate Sanjusangendo Temple In Kyoto

Show map

Show gallery

Facts & Figures

The official name of Sanjusangen-do is Rengeo-in temple (Hall of the Lotus King). The Japanese government registered Rengeo-in as an National Treasure. The 120 meters long main temple hall is called Sanjusangen-do, which means a hall with thirty-three spaces between columns. It is the longest wooden building in Japan. The architecture style of the main hall is known as Wayo. Best Ryokans in KyotoExplore Ryokans in Kyoto
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions.
The absolute highlight are the 1001 statues of Kannon (Juichimen-senjusengen Kanzeon), the Buddhist goddess of mercy, inside the hall. Unfortunately there are no pictures allowed, but some people did not follow the rules and you can just google for it;) The material used for the statues is Japanese cypress covered with gold leaf. The large wooden statue in the center is a National Treasure of Japan and represents the 1000-armed Senju Kannon (original name Sahasrabhuja-arya-Avalokitesvara). The famous artist Tankei (1173 - 1256) created this figure. Interesting to know that he was 82 at the end of the project. You will also find 28 fierce looking guardian statues inside the hall. The most impressive ones are the Thunder God (Raijin) and The Wind God (Fujin). I should not forget to mention two Important Cultural Properties within the temple complex, which are the roofed earthen fence and South Gate.

  • Sanjusangen-do:
  • Opening Hours - 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (last entry 4:30 pm)
  • Opening Hours - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (16th Nov till 31st Mar, last entry 3:30 pm)
  • Closed - never, open the whole year
  • Admission Fee - 600 yen (Adults), 400 yen (High school and Junior high school students)

History

In 1164 Sanjusangen-do was built by Taira-no-Kiyomori (1118 – 1181), a powerful politician and warrior. The order for the construction came from the retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa (1127 – 1192). After a huge fire in 1249 the reconstruction of the temple took till 1266. Since then Sanjusangen-do´s core structure remained unchanged. 4 major renovations took place within the last 700 years.

Location Show map

Sanjusangen-do is located in the Higashiyama district in Kyoto.
Address: 657 Sanjūsangendōma wari-chō, Higashiyama-ku

How to get to Sanjusangen-do Temple?

  • 20min walk from Kyoto Station or
  • 10min from Kyoto Station to Hakubutsukan-Sanjusangen-do-Mae stop by bus nr. 100, 206 and 208

Sightseeing spots

Top:

Main Hall - This is the longest wooden hall (120 m) in Japan with an amazing interior (1001 statues of Kannon). My must-see recommendation for you.

Festival & Events in Kyoto (dates can change without notice)

January

Toshiya Festival at Sanjusangen-do temple grounds (15th)
The festival dates from the Edo period, when archers meet for an annual contest. The goal was to shoot as many arrows (and hit a target) as possible along the length of the hall within 24hrs. The record by one person stands at 8133. Toshiya Festival is held on the west veranda of the temple.

April

Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).

May

Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.

July

Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).

Obon Festival at Higashi Honganji Temple (30th - 31st)
The annual summer Obon Festival honors the spirit of our ancestors. You can enjoy there tea ceremony demonstrations, games, flower market, delicious food, Bon Odori Dancing and much more.

October

Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

Search Hotels in Kyoto