Sanjusangendo © Wikimedia commons

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.


Sanjusangendo ©Shutterstock

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 Temple

Total rating: 4.5
Fascinating sight
The statues inside are incredibly beautiful, I wish I were allowed to take pictures of them. The outside grounds are quite pretty and peaceful as well.

This is an amazing temple with over 1001 statues of Buddha and his guardians. Very impressive that it has been here so long and I imagine the non educated villagers and farmers would have felt in awe at these deities. The guardians have crystals for eyes which is very effective and they do on occasions look very real. Fantastic spiritual feeling and great air of calm, truly breathtaking.

avatarRobert C
Main Boddisvata statue
A Bodisvata is like an avatar who returns from Nirvana, which is liberation from the wheel of life (suffering) and is like a hero to help us who are not yet liberated. She has a 1000 “arms” and surrounded by a 1000 life size manifestations of herself, all gilded in gold leaf over wood. Truly shows the Hindu origination of esoteric Buddhism. Pray for your family and the well being of all living things. The Shinto deities are also Hindu inspired with eyes that seem to follow you and appear to defy their static state with curved lines and fluid form. They are likely the inspiration for modern Japanese anime avatars, such as Dragon Ball Z and Demon Slayer. This is a mystical place to connect with humanity as expressed through ancient Japan. No photos are allowed at all.

Go here. You will regret it if you don't
A 'must see' is probably one of those things you hear a lot when you browse the reviews of people visiting Kyoto. In this case, they are absolutely not wrong. It is amazing how a hall of 120 meters long is filled to the brim with 1000 gorgeous, a bit intimidating golden statues and a few wooden statues of the different gods. We were so happy that we decided to walk here after visiting kiyomizudera.

avatarPatrick O
Great Place to Explore!
We stopped here while on an afternoon tour of Kyoto and this temple is really a great place to see and explore.The hall with the1001 Buddist statues is very impressive and the large Kannon with one thousand arms is magnificient to see. One has to admire the craftsmanship. There are no photos allowed inside so buy post cards. My wife did not go in due to her dilslike of heavy incense, but this is worth seeing. Our niece and I were in awe of the sheer number of statues. There ar 28 guardian statues as well. It is easy to understand why this is a national treasure! Don't miss this one. This is one of the best temples that saw.

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Rengeoin Sanjusangendo

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.

Loved this temple. Very unassuming from the outside but mind blown away from the inside where please note you can't take photos. Its easy to get temple fatigue in Kyoto but this is one of those temples that stands out and is very memorable.

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.



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