Eikan-do Temple (Kyoto) Show mapShow gallery

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Domo arigato.
  • Eikan-do Temple Tahoto Pagoda In Kyoto

  • Eikan-do Temple Tahoto Pagoda In Kyoto

  • Eikan-do Temple Tahoto Pagoda In Kyoto

  • So-mon Gate Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Kangaku Gate Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Kakujudai Shuin Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Courtyard Garden Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Courtyard Garden Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Shaka-do Garden Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Shaka-do Garden Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Garyu-ro Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Garyu-ro Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Garyu-ro Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Chokushi-mon Gate Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Mie-do Hall Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Mie-do Hall Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Mie-do Hall Roof Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Amida-do Hall Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Amida-do Hall Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Amida-do Hall Ceiling Paintings Eikan-do

  • Amida-do Hall Ceiling Paintings Eikan-do

  • Fudo Myo Statue With Waterfall Eikan-do

  • Hojo Pond Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Hojo Pond With Benten Shrine Eikan-do Temple

  • Hojo Pond Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Bell Tower Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Stone Pavement Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Beautiful Garden Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Beautiful Garden Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Beautiful Garden Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Dragon Fountain Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

  • Jizo Statues Eikan-do Temple In Kyoto

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Facts & Figures

The Buddhism Temple complex Eikan-do, also called Zenrin-ji, is the headquarter of the Jodo-shu (Pure Land) Seizan Zenrin-ji sect. It is one of the most popular spots in Kyoto to enjoy colorful maple tree leaves during the autumn season. It is the time of the year when the temple grounds can get really crowded, but it is definitely my must-see recommendation for your visit in Kyoto.

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  • Eikan-do Temple:
  • Opening Hours - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (last entry at 4:00 pm)
  • Closed - open the whole year
  • Admission Fee - 600 yen (Adults), 400 yen (Students)

History

In 853 a priest with the name Shinsho (pupil of the famous Kobo Daishi) bought this property and in 863, after the approval of Emperor Seiwa, the construction of the Zenrin-ji started. The temple belonged in the beginning to the Shingo sect. The monk Yokan (1033 - 1111), also called Eikan, and chief priest of the temple started to change the focus slowly to the Jodo-shu sect. In the beginning of the 13th century head priest Shoon (1201-1271) finally changed the temple from Shingon-shu sect to Jodo-shu sect. Shoon was greatly influenced by the sect's first independent branch founder Honen (1133 - 1212). During the Onin War (1467 - 1477) Eikan-do was almost completely destroyed and later rebuilt (till 1497).

Location Show map

Eikan-do is located near Ginkaku-ji and Nanzen-ji Temple along the Philosopher's Walk in Kyoto's Eastern Mountain.
Address: 48 Eikando-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto

How to get to Eikan-do Temple?

  • 35min from Kyoto Station to Nanzenji-Eikando-michi stop by bus number 5 and
  • 6min walk from Nanzenji-Eikando-michi stop to Eikan-do Temple

Sightseeing spots

Top:

Turning Amida (Mikaeri Amida) - a beautiful and famous statue (height: 30 inch) located within the Amida-do Hall (built in beginning of 17th century), the statue is unique because the head is turned to look over its shoulder

Tahoto Pagoda - the current two storey pagoda was rebuilt in 1928 and is located at the highest point of the temple complex, enjoy the great views over Kyoto from there

Korai-mon (Main gate) - the current gate was built in the middle of the 19th century

Zen Chief Priest Chamber - built during the Edo period

Yakui-mon (Inner gate) - the current gate was constructed in 1744

Founder's Hall (Goe-do) - the founder of Jodo-shu sect Honen is enshrined at this place, the current hall was reconstructed in 1912

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

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).

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.

November - December

Eikando Illumination (Nov 6th - Dec 3rd)
The best place to enjoy the fall foliage season in Kyoto. The illumination at night is just wonderful.

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