Shoren-in Temple (Kyoto) Show mapShow gallery

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Domo arigato.
  • Shoren-in Temple Camphor Tree In Kyoto

  • Nagaya-mon Gate Shoren-in Temple

  • Camphor Tree Shoren-in Temple

  • Map Shoren-in Temple

  • Yakui-mon Gate Shoren-in Temple

  • Entrance Shoren-in Temple

  • Shinden Hall Shoren-in Temple

  • Shinden Hall And Sakon-no Sakura Shoren-in

  • Altar Inside Shinden Hall Shoren-in Temple

  • Inside Shinden Hall Shoren-in Temple

  • Palanquin Of Emperor Komei At Shinden, Shoren-in

  • Nagamochi At Shinden, Shoren-in

  • Fusuma At Shinden, Shoren-in

  • Fusuma Inside Shinden Hall Shoren-in

  • Fusuma Inside Shinden Hall Shoren-in

  • Fusuma Inside Shinden Hall Shoren-in

  • Calligraphy Panels Inside Shinden Hall

  • Shikyaku-mon Gate Shoren-in Temple

  • Shikyaku-mon Gate Shoren-in Temple

  • Kogosho Shoren-in Temple

  • Kogosho Ryujin-no-ike Pond Shoren-in Temple

  • Inside Kogosho Shoren-in Temple

  • Ryujin-no-ike Pond Shoren-in Temple

  • Screen Shoren-in Temple

  • Wooden Corridor Shoren-in Temple

  • Ichimonji Chozubashi Shoren-in Temple

  • Kachoden Shoren-in Temple

  • Kachoden Fusuma Shoren-in Temple

  • Kachoden Fusuma Shoren-in Temple

  • Kachoden Drawing Room Shoren-in Temple

  • Kachoden Shoren-in Temple

  • Soami Garden Shoren-in Temple

  • Kobun-tei Shoren-in Temple Kyoto

  • Hiyoshi Shrine Shoren-in Temple

  • Belfry Shoren-in Kyoto

  • Bamboo Groove Shoren-in Kyoto

  • Shijoko-Do Shoren-in Kyoto

  • Statue Shoren-in Kyoto

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Facts & Figures

Shoren-in is the first out of five Monzeki Temples (Sanzen-in, Bishamon-do, Myoho-in, Manshu-in) of the Tendai sect in Kyoto and was founded in the late Heian period. The head priests of those Buddhist temples were members of the Imperial family. Best Ryokans in KyotoExplore Ryokans in Kyoto
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Shoren-in belongs to Enryaku Temple in Mt. Hiei, where the Tendai Buddhist sect was founded by priest Saicho. Do not miss the special illumination of the temple grounds in spring and autumn till 10 pm. Shoren-in is full of national treasures and important cultural assets.

  • Shoren-in Temple:
  • Opening Hours - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (last entry 4:30 pm)
  • Opening Hours during illuminations at night (spring/autumn) - 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm (last entry 9:30 pm)
  • Admission Fee - 500 yen (Adults), 400 yen (Junior/High School Students), 200 yen (Elementary School Students)
  • Admission Fee illuminations at night - 800 yen (Adults)

History

The origin of Shoren-in lies at the top of Mt. Hiei, a mountain in the northeastern part of Kyoto. The founder of the Tendai sect Denkyo-daishi Saicho (767 - 822) constructed there some lodging facilities and temples for priests. One of the buildings was named Sho-ren-bo. This name was later used for the Shoren-in temple. The retired Emporer Toba (1103 - 1156) was a believer in the Tendai sect and decided to built a residence for himself and his 7th son Prince Kakukaishin-no (1134 - 1181), a disciple of the 48th Head Priest of Enryaku-ji with the name Gyogen (1097 - 1155), in Kyoto. He named the residence Shoren-in. Later his son became the head priest of this place. This appointment started a long tradition which remained till the beginning of the Meiji-era (1868 - 1912) and says that only members of the Imperial family could be head priests at the temple. Empress Go-Sakuramachi (1740 – 1813) used Shoren-in as a temporary home in 1788, after her Imperial Palace burned down in a huge fire. She used the building Kobun-tei as her study room. Unfortunately in 1993 Kobun-tei burned down, but was fully restored in 1995.

Location Show map

Shoren-in Temple is located within the Higashiyama District near Chionin Temple, Yasaka Shrine, Maruyama Park and Heian Jingu Shrine.
Address: 69-1 Sanjobocho, Awataguchi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0035

How to get to Shoren-in?

  • 30min from Kyoto Station to Jingu-michi stop by bus number 5 or 100 and
  • 6min walk from Jingu-michi stop to Shoren-in

Sightseeing spots

Top:

Kachoden - This drawing room offers great views to the garden with the Ryujin-no-ike Pond as its centerpiece. Enjoy also the sliding doors (called fusuma) with beautiful paintings on it.

Shijoko-Do - The hondo (main hall) contains the image/reproduction of blue Fudo Myo-O, which is an important national treasure. You can find also the replica of a mandala donated to the temple by the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536 - 1598).

Shinden - It is the largest building at the temple grounds and full with items of the Imperial family. The exhibition is really impressive. I liked especially the sliding door (fusuma) paintings.

Famous Gardens - The two gardens are Soami and Kirishima-no-niwa. The main garden was built by Soami during the Muromachi period. Kirishima-no-niwa was created by Kobori Enshu during the Edo period.

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

April

Night time illumination at Shoren-in
Please find out the exact dates at some local websites. The illumination at night is breathtakingly beautiful and you should not miss it.

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.

June

Aoba Matsuri (Green Leaf Festival) at Chishaku-in (15th)
The festival is an ancient ritual of followers of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, which are called Yamabushi. They participate in a series of ceremonies like celebrating the birth of founder Kobo-Daishi (744 - 835).

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.

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