Sanjusangen-do (Renge-O-in) temple
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Area:Higashiyama Ward   Sightseeing Genre: Japanese culture and history

  Best time to visit: Whole year

  Category of Spot: Temples/ Shrines/ Castles


  • Japanese culture and history

Rengeo-in temple is commonly known as Sanjusangen-do (a hall with thirty-three spaces between columns) and is administered by Myoho-in temple.

The earthquake resistant main hall is a national treasure. In the long main hall (120m long, 22m wide, 16m high) are more then one thousand Buddhist images.

The principal images of the Tendai-shu sect temple are 1001 statues of Juichimen-Senju-Sengen Kanzeon (an eleven-face one thousand-arm one thousand-eye Kan'non). Of those, a three meters high seated figure in the middle of the Buddhist deities was made by a great sculptor Tankei and is a national treasure. Of 1000 human sized standing figures, 124 were made in the 12th century when this temple was founded. The remaining 876 were made in the 13th century when the main hall was rebuilt after the original hall had been burned down. The 1000 Kan'non figures are Important cultural property.

In addition to the principal images, they have 30 more national treasures. Those are the God of Thunder and the God of Wind and 28 guardian deities who protect the Kan'nons and Buddhists who believe in Kan'non.


Rengeo-in was built by TAIRA no Kiyomori at Emperor Go-Shirakawa's behest in 1164. The temple, including the main hall and five storied pagoda, was reduced to ashes by a great fire in Kyoto in 1249. The main hall was rebuilt in 1266.

600 of the Buddhist images were toppled by the earthquake in 1544. In the year 1588, TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi built Hoko-ji temple and Rengeo-in was incorporated into the new big temple. After extinction of Toyotomi family, Hoko-ji including Rengeo-in was transferred to Myoho-in temple's administration.

How to get to Sanjusangen-do temple

*Ten minutes by Kyoto City Bus No. 206 or 208 from Kyoto Station to Hakubutsukan-Sanjusangen-do-Mae Bus stop, or
*5 minutes on foot from Keihan railway Shichijo station.

Hours and Admission

Except following: 8:00-17:00
November 16-March 30: 9:00-16:00
Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.

College students and older: 600 yen
Junior high and high school students: 400 yen
Children younger than the above: 300 yen


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Higashiyama Ward
657 Sanjusangendomawari, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
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