Anrakuji Temple in Kyoto
Entrance, Anrakuji Temple in Kyoto
Info Board, Anrakuji Temple in Kyoto
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Facts & Figures
Anraku-ji Temple in the eastern part of Kyoto near Honen-in Temple belongs to the Jodo sect of Buddhism. The entry gate with the thatch-roof and its maple trees on the left and right side is amazingly beautiful. Come here during autumn season when the leaves of the maple trees turn red. The annual Shishigatani Pumpkin Service in July is another highlight of the temple. The small and tranquil temple offers a nice Japanese garden with cherry trees and azaleas. Do not miss the image of Amida Buddha (Buddha of Infinite Light and Life) in the main hall. The only challenge you will face is to find the right timing for the opening hours (check below).
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- Anraku-ji Temple:
- Opening Hours (Mon-Sun): - 9:30 am to 4:30 pm (only in spring and autumn)
- Open on Saturdays and Sundays during:
- first 2 weeks of April
- first 2 weeks of May (incl. national holidays)
- last 2 weeks of May
- first 2 weeks of June
- first 2 weeks of December
- Admission Fee - 500 yen (Adults), free (Junior high school students, Children)
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Explore the best parts of my favourite city Kyoto with a local guide. The personalized tour can take between 2 - 8 hours. Check out this page > for more details.
It all started during the Kamakura period (1192 - 1333) when the priests Anraku and Juren, who were disciples of Honen, constructed a small grass-thatched hut at Shishi-ga-tani on the side of the Higashiyama hills. There they prayed to Amitabha Buddha (known in Japanese as Nembutsu). During that time the Ladies Matsumushi and Suzumushi, attendants of Retired Emperor Go-Toba (1180 - 1239), become so influenced by the priests that they made the decision to become nuns. The emperor got so mad about this fact that he banned Nembutsu prayers, killed the 2 priests and deported their mentors Shinran and Honen. This event is known as the suppression of the 2nd year of Ken-ei (1207). Between 1532 to 1555 a temple was constructed at the present site to honour these 2 young priests, which got the name Anraku-ji temple.
How to get to Anraku-ji?
- 40min from Kyoto Station to Shinyodo-mae stop by bus number 5 and
- 10min walk from Shinyodo-mae bus stop to Anraku-ji temple
Sightseeing spots at the temple grounds
Main Hall - You will find there images of Amida Buddha and his four attendant Bodhisattvas and images of priests Juren and Anraku and Ladies Suzumushi and Matsumushi. Another image of Reverend Honen is also on display.
Festival & Events in Kyoto (dates can change without notice)
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).
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.
Shishigatani Pumpkin Service (25th)
During this very popular annual festival at the Anrakuji Temple visitors can eat boiled pumpkin and this should prevent paralysis.
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).
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.
Where to stay in Kyoto?
Day trips from Kyoto:
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