Nov. 05, 2018 UPDATE

Sanzen-in Temple

- 三千院 -
Visit the wonderful moss garden and a national treasure in Ohara
This beautiful temple surrounded by nature is also one of the oldest temples in Kyoto. Established between 782 and 806, the temple was officially named “Sanzen-in” in 1871. Amazingly, the temple’s head priests were members of the imperial family. Ohara area was once a place where noble people and disciplined monks flocked over to have a secluded life. Here, you can enjoy two beautiful gardens which look different depending on the season. There are several shops along the way from the bus stop to Sanzen-in, you can easily spend about half a day in this area. Make a visit to this temple, make a prayer, and enjoy the magnificent view of the gardens.
Shuheki-en Garden
Shuheki-en Garden
This garden can be viewed from the Kyakuden Hall, as the garden is categorized as a pond appreciating style garden. Have a seat in the hall and take a moment to view the garden. During a perfect warm weather, you can hear the birds chirping, and according to the season, you can view flowers bloom elegantly.
Yusei-en Garden
Yusei-en Garden
Yusei-en Garden is a moss garden which is categorized as a pond strolling style garden. It’s a beautiful moss garden where you can find 6 Jizo statues called Warabe Jizo. Enjoy your stroll through this garden and take in the joy shared by these little statues. During the autumn, beautiful maple leaves changing colors can be seen, and during the spring, cherry trees planted around the area can be seen blooming. Even during the rain, the moss garden is beautiful as the colors of the moss change.
3Good Experiences
Visit the Ojo-gokuraku-in and make your prayer to the Amitabha Trinity. This Amida hall allows one to get very close to the statue of Amida Buddha, a national treasure. The sitting position in which these statues are presented is unique as well as the round knees of the statues. Built in 986, the hall’s ceiling once was in bright beautiful colors with imagery of a paradise heaven. The painting of the ceiling is recreated (in same size) and exhibited in the Ennyu-zo Treasure House which can be visited near the exit of the temple.
Take a break!
4Good Experiences
Take a break!
There are several areas to take a rest inside the temple. Near Konjiki-fudo-do (hall of Golden Acalanatha), there is a resting area where free tea can be enjoyed by all the visitors. The tea is not ordinary tea, take a closer look as the kind attendant hands you a cup. Real gold flakes fill the tea cups beautifully shining in tasty shiso herb tea, in ume plum tea or in sweet green tea.
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -
Please keep in mind that tripods are not allowed inside. If you want to participate in sutra copying, just ask the temple staff.
3.2 experience3.5 access2.5 photogenic3.5
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.2 experience3.5 access2.5 photogenic3.5
It was my very first time going to the Ohara area! I'm glad that I made this visit; it's such a quiet area full of nature and fresh air. It took about an hour on the bus from Kyoto Station. The bus goes along the river and the scenery was enjoyable even on the way to Ohara. Once there, I saw several shops open as I walked up to Sanzen-in Temple. Check out some souvenirs on the way up or on the way back down. Surrounded by mountains, it was incredible to see this side of Kyoto.
3.5 experience5.0 access0.5 photogenic5.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.5 experience5.0 access0.5 photogenic5.0
Sanzen-in Temple / 三千院
Category Temples & Shrines, Japanese Gardens
Phone +81 75-744-2531
Address 540 Ohara Raigoincho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 601-1242
Directions 1-hour on bus from Kyoto Station (C3 area) on Bus #17. Get off at"Ohara" stop (last bus stop on bus #17) and walk about 10 minutes up the hill. 23-minute on bus from Kyoto Subway Kokusai Kaikan Station (#3 area) . Get off at "Ohara" stop and walk about 10 minutes up the hill.
Open Hours March - December 7th : 8:30am - 5:30pm (must enter by 5pm) November 8th - February : 9am - 5:00pm (must enter by 4:30pm)
Reservations Not accepted
Closed Open everyday
Notes Please note of the hours as it is changed from previous hours. Sanzenin Temple and the Ohara area can be reached by bus and takes about 1 hour from Kyoto Station.
Price range
Adult: ¥700 (¥600/person for a group of 30 people or more) Middle and high school students: ¥400 (¥300/per person for a group of 30 people or more) Elementary students: ¥150
Credit cards Not accepted
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
Information brochure available in 4 languages
Information Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean
Lanuages spoken Japanese only
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