About Kyoto Yongkando Zenrinji Temple
Eikando is the head temple of the Zenrinji school of Jodo Buddhism in Nishiyama, Japan. In the early Heian period, Zenrinji Temple was founded by a disciple of Master Hiroshi, Shinsho Sinto (797-837), as a villa for the literati Fujiwara Sekio. Later, it was renamed Eikan-do because of the admission of the lawyer Eikan (1033-1111) to the temple. The wide courtyard is connected by a corridor with Sakyado, Kaisendo, and Gogyo-do. The most famous treasure enshrined in the temple is the standing statue of Amitabha Buddha, a national important cultural property.
It is different from the standard statue of the frontal hanging of the temple, but it looks back to the left, as if it has a vision, so it is called “looking back at Amitabha”. There is a legend that on the 15th day of the 2nd month of the 2nd lunar month (1082), when he was doing the morning class, lawyer Yong Guan was chanting in the temple, when Amitabha Buddha suddenly descended from his throne and appeared in front of him to lead Yong Guan. Yong Guan was stunned and stopped, and Amitabha then looked left to greet Yong Guan. This form is the blueprint for the unique statue of Amitabha Buddha in Yongkwan Hall. In mid-November every year, the mountains are full of red leaves and the halls, pagodas and reflections of red leaves in the pond are covered with red leaves, giving people an indescribable beauty of an oriental temple. This is why Yonggando is also known as “Yonggando of the Red Leaves”.
Kyoto Eikando Zenrinji Temple Access Information
Take bus No. 5 or 57 in front of Kyoto Station and get off at Nanzenji Eikando-do Station, a 3-minute walk; take bus No. 100 in front of Kyoto Station and get off at Higashi Tenno-cho, a 5-minute walk.
Kyoto Eikanto Zenrinji Temple Ticket Prices
Admission fee is 600 yen for adults and 400 yen for elementary and junior high school students.
9:00-17:00 (final admission time 16:00)
48 Nagakando-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, 606-8445, Japan