Eikando (永観堂)

Just a short distance from Nanzenji, you find the Eikando Hall. The temple was originally the Higashiyama Villa of Fujiwara Sekio during the Heian period (794-1185). Shinsho (a disciple of Kukai) purchased it in 853. And he enshrined the Gochi-nyorai (five wisdom buddhas) there.

Temple’s official WEB site

The main hall is dedicated to the famous statue of Looking-back Amidabutsu. You can see the statue up close and personal. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed. I have to admit that it is beautiful but smaller than I expected.

The best season to visit Eikando is autumn. The temple’s autumn foliage is exceptionally beautiful and attracts many tourists.

The garden is illuminated at night during the season of autumn leaves. The statue of Looking-back Amidabutsu cannot be viewed during illumination hours.

Around Eikando

The adjacent Nanzenji Temple is also famous for its autumn foliage. Nanzenji Temple does not offer nighttime illumination, so it is best to adjust your time to visit both temples.