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)
Where Is This Place Located?See these places on our Kyoto Google map:
- Open the Kyoto map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
See my complete list of hand-picked recommendations for Southern Higashiyama, including things to do, places to eat and places to stay.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, get your Japan Rail Pass
- Get travel insurance for your Japan trip - book online with World Nomads