Sanjusangendo (三十三間堂)

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Sanjusangendo is a temple of the Tendai sect located in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. Its official name is Rengeoin Hondo (蓮華王院本堂). It is not an independent temple, but the nearby Myohoin Temple administer it. Taira no Kiyomori built this long hall in 1164. It was later destroyed by fire, but was restored in 1266.

Outside view of Sanjusangendo
Outside view

The name Sanjusangendo is due to the 33 (sanjusan) spaces (gen) between the pillars. The total length of the hall is 120 meters.

Temple’s official WEB site

There are 1001 statues of the Kannon standing in the hall. Among them, 124 are from the Heian period, the time of the temple’s construction. You cannot take photos in the temple. So the image below is from the temple’s website.

Sanjusangendo Kannon statues
Source: Temple’s official WEB site

The more than 1,000 statues are specutaclar. It is a must visit.

Nearby spots around Sanjusangendo

Kyoto National Museum is just across the street.

Myohoin Temple, the owner of Sanjusangendo, is not open for the public in most of the time.

The Shoseien Garden is located in the middle of the bustling district close to the Kyoto Station.

Yogen-in Temple has a blood ceiling and cedar door and sliding door paintings by Sotatsu Tawaraya that are a must-see.

Chishakuin Temple, head temple of Chizan School, features a renowned pond garden and houses National Treasure screen paintings.

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