Sanjusangen-do Temple

Sanjusangen-do Temple

Sanjusangen-do Temple, Koyoto was such a cool place! This temple was built in 1164 by Taira no Kiyomori who was a famous warlord for Emperor Go-Shirakawa. The temple is renowned for its 1,001 golden Kannon statues, the goddess of compassion. The building also houses 28 Buddhist guardian deities that can be seen on the front row.

These statues were made by a father and son out of Japanese cypress covered in gold leaf. Out of the 1,001 figures, only 124 are still the original figures.  They had been saved from a 1249 fire that destroyed the hall and the rest of its contents. The lost ones were replaced in the 13th century.

It has been said that the Kannon has eleven heads to see the suffering of mankind and one thousand arms to save everyone in need. Each statue holds a different item or is posed in a different Buddhist symbolic gesture. It has been said that if you look closely at the face of each one, you will see the one person that you long to meet.

Sanjusangen-do Temple

Look closely at the main hall itself and small notches can be found in the wood on the edges of the building. These were made by arrows during Toshiya archery competitions that were held hundreds of years ago.

Tuck your phones away and leave your cameras behind.  As much as you’ll want to document this visit, the only photos you will be allowed to take are mental pictures – Sorry, no photography is allowed inside the temple!

Helpful Information

Best Time to Visit: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (April 1 to November 15) 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (November 16 to March 31) Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.

Important Information



Kristal Ham

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