Compare Tours & Attraction Ticket Prices from Top Travel Sites
Eikando Zenrinji Temple
Lose Yourself in the Colourful and Rustic Ambience of Eikando Zenrinji Temple
The most crowded and loved part of the temple is the Tahoto Pagoda residing above the other buildings of the temple, tucked among the beautiful trees on the hillside. The pagoda consists of two stories of which the first story is square and the second is round. It serves as the best point to witness the spellbinding scenery of the temple. You can walk up to the Pagoda to get a mesmerizing view of the temple and the Kyoto city. The place is crowded particularly during the autumn season.
Giving you a glimpse of what a dreamland would be like, the temple comprises of everything majestic. The Eikando Zenrinji temple consists of a pond named as Hojo Pond surrounded by an attractive garden which is at the peak of its beauty during the autumn months when maple leaves start changing their colors. The Pond is fed by fresh streams of water around the temple and consists of Koi. There is a small shrine located in the middle of the pond.
Another prized treasure that you would find in the garden of the temple complex is Suikinkutsu. The wondrous structure consists of a big jar set upside down on a pan with water. The jar has a hole at its bottom. Water is allowed to drip from the hole of the jar to the pan making a soft sound which is echoed by the big jar. If you attentively listen to the sound of the water drips it would seem as if you are listening to the amusing sound of Koto, a Japanese harp.
If you are visiting the temple during the fall season, then do plan a visit to the temple at night to experience nighttime illumination of the fall foliage. In it, the garden is illuminated every night of the autumn season, (during November and December but the dates are not fixed) to give you an amazing view of the fall foliage. Please note that during the night time, the temple's main buildings are not open, you can stroll only in the garden and go to the pagoda to witness the beautiful lighting.
How to Get Tickets?
There are entry charges to the temple and its garden. Different charges apply for adult and children. You can buy the tickets online. Also, if you wish to see the night illumination then there are separate charges for it. Please note that during night illumination main buildings of the temple are closed hence you will not be able to visit the temple during night illumination.
How To Get Around?
You can stroll around the temple and enjoy the majestic view of its gardens and Buddhist treasures. It is not big enough hence walking around will not be a problem. During the autumn season when the temple is most crowded you will have to join long queues to witness the charm of the place. But the wait in long queues is definitely worth the beauty that you will come across.
What Should I Wear?
The temple expects its visitors to wear conservative clothing. Anything decent and not too skin revealing will do.
Best Time to Visit
No doubt the best time to visit the temple is during the autumn season when you get the amazing view of maple trees changing colors. But it is too crowded during the season. If you are not much crowd loving person then spring will be great too but not as spectacular as the autumn. The timings of visiting the temple are 9 in the morning to 4 in the evening. And the night time illumination may begin from 5:30 pm and continue till 9:00 pm.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, you will not need a guide to visit the temple premises. The temple precincts are not too large, and you can stroll around easily.
How To Get There?
As not much parking space is available at the temple, it is recommended that you take public transport. If you prefer the train, then the temple is a 15 to 20-minute walk from Keage Station which is the nearest subway station. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Kyoto Station to Nanzen-Ji Eikando Michi from where the temple is at a 3-minute walking distance. Also, you can take a bus to Higashi-Tenno stop from where the temple is just a 5-minute walk. If you are visiting Philosopher's path, then you would find the temple at the southern end of the path.
There are certain rules that you need to follow inside the temple precincts. Photography is allowed only in the garden and not the temple buildings. Also, no shooting equipment like tripods and selfie rods should be taken to the temple premises. Further, you cannot take any food and drinks or animals with you. Smoking is prohibited in the temple premises and you will have to remove your shoes before entering the temple.