Kanchi-in Temple (Toji) 観智院

Kanchiin is one of the sub-temples of Toji Temple. It is just inside the Kita-Soumon gate (an important cultural property) of Toji Temple. The path from the Kitasomun is called Kushige-koji, which is said to be the very width of the road in ancient Heiankyo Capital.

Kita-Soumon gate of To-ji Temple.

Kanchi-in is a Shingon school temple. The entrance is just a small one, but it is definitely worth a visit.

Entrance to Kanchi-in

The Kyakuden (guest house) of Kanchi-in is a national treasure. It is an early Edo period building. In the upper room of the Kyakuden, there are “Eagle” and “Bamboo Forest” painted by Musashi Miyamoto.

The main deity of the main hall is Godai Kokuzo Bosatsu, a statue of Bisatsu riding on five animals, which is an important cultural property. These animals are a lion, an elephant, a horse, a peacock, and a kalora (a Garuda). They were brought from Chang’an, the capital of Tang China, by a Japanese envoy to China.

According to temple legend, Keiun, a monk in the early Heian period, brought them from Chang’an to Anshoji Temple in Yamashina. Then Kenpo later moved them from Anshoji and made them the principal images of Kanchi-in. We cannot take photos of them. So please check the official page of Toji Temple.

Nearby spots from Kanchi-in Temple

You should definitory visit Toji Temple. One of the most important temples in Kyoto. Large ancient Buddhist statues in its halls will overwhelm you.

Rokusonno Jinja Shrine is the origin of Genji clan that started Kamakura Shogunate, the first Samurai Government, in 13th century.

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  1. […] Kanchi-in temple is a sub-temple of the Toji Temple. The five large Ku Ku Zang Bodhisattvas in the main hall are a rare set of five Buddhist statues that came from ancient China. […]