Dec. 17, 2021 UPDATE
Eikando- 永観堂 -
There are English brochures at the entrance. The staff can’t speak English but they are friendly and ready to help.
Japanese and English
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Story & Recommendation
Eikan-do offers a great view of autumn leaves to those willing to look over their shoulder
Most people know this temple only as Eikan-do, but the official name of the temple once known as a center for learning is Shojuraigosan Muryoju-in Zenrin-ji, quite a mouthful. Eikan-do Temple is famous for its maple trees, and especially the autumn leaves. It is said there are 3000 maple trees growing on the temple premises, and in autumn they all change their color to red, orange, magenta, brown, and yellow. The best time to see these autumn leaves is to come in mid-November.
Gaze at Kyoto from Taho-to Pagoda
The pagoda is of course the highest place within the temple premises, so it’s only natural that the view from here is the greatest too. Gaze at the city below you, feel the quietness of the temple become you, but don’t forget to take a photo too.
This is the hall where the world-famous Buddha-looking-over-his-shoulder statue is located. The statue is only 77cm tall, but that is not what is special about it. Normally Buddha statues look forward, but this Buddha looks over his shoulder. This means that you can pray to the Buddha from two directions! How convenient!
Stroll around Hojo pond
There is a large pond in front of the main hall. It is surrounded by maple trees, and the maple trees then reflect on the surface of the pond, making for an incredibly nice scene. Take your time to walk around the pond, and also walk across famous Benten Bridge that you can also see in the picture. The tea shop is also inviting, and taking a break here with some matcha tea is sure to become a lasting memory.
- Manner & Tips -
When you come into the Amida-do, please take your shoes off and put them in the plastic bag that is provided.