Sanjusangendo is definitely not your typical temple with green lush gardens but it is a house to 1001 Buddhist statues similar to the terra cota warriors in China. If you want to learn about Buddhism and if you only have one day then this is it. First, there are 1000 Cannon statues protected by 28 heavenly kings and also 2 Nio statues, the raijin and fujin. The long hall was originally built in the 12th century making it one of the oldest wooden structures in the world.
Tip: the place is right across from Yogen In where you can see the 400-year old samurai blood stains on ceilings. The place is near Kyoto’s National Museum and not too far from Kyoto Station.
Sanjusangendo in Instagram
The main hall with 1,000 gold-leafed Kannon statues and 28 deities is more impressive than we'd imagined. It's all the more impressive that these intricate sculptures have survived century upon century. Although photography is not allowed within the main hall, there are some nice picture opportunities outside in the garden area.
It was a little underwhelming for us, but we loved the peaceful gardens and the pop of bright orange from the darker style wood. When we went, no pictures were allowed inside, but the golden statues inside were absolutely stunning. Recommend if you're in the area. Note: Visited prior to Covid, so things may be different.
Entrance is ¥600 per person and now it's not crowded at all. Place worth visiting where you can see 1000 Buddha statue with all of them not identical. No photography allowed inside.
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