With over 1000 images of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, Sanjusangen-do Temple is one the most arresting sights in Kyoto. It’s sort of like an angelic terracotta army.
Sanjusangen-do © Dick Thomas Johnson
Just a few steps from the Hyatt Regency Kyoto and directly across the street from the Kyoto National Museum, Sanjusangen-do Temple is a sight that you’ll remember long after leaving Japan. Imagine row upon row of exquisitely carved Kannon images filling a vast hall, with a sublime Senju-Kannon (Thousand-Armed Kannon) figure at the center of it all. Kannon is commonly translated as the Buddhist goddess of mercy, but sticklers will point out that Kannon is actually a bodhisattva (a being who puts off entry into nirvana in order to save all souls still suffering in the world of corruption and desire).
657 Sanjusangendomawari-cho, Higashiyama-ku
8am-5pm, last entry 4.30pm
9am-4pm, last entry 3.30pm 16 November-31 March
High and junior high school students: \400
Non-smoking area: Yes
In front of Sanjusangendo-mae Bus Stop, Kyoto City Bus 100 or 206 from Kyoto Station
10min walk from Shichijo Station, Keihan line
Official Website (Japanese)
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See my complete list of hand-picked recommendations for Southern Higashiyama, including things to do, places to eat and places to stay.
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