Eikando Zenrinji Temple

Eikando Zenrinji Temple, Kyoto

Eikando Zenrinji Temple
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Religious Sites
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9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
1,715 reviews
Excellent
1,209
Very good
422
Average
72
Poor
9
Terrible
3

OhSwan121
Taiwan32 contributions
Nov 2019
Really miss its beautiful screen, which is absolute worth visiting in Autumn with the maple trees.
Want to be back immediately to lighten the heavy atmosphere of these two months.
真的懷念永顴堂的美麗風景, 絕對值得在滿佈楓葉的秋天前去參觀。
很想立刻回去, 減輕這兩個月的沉重氣氛。
(因字數, 抱歉要重覆了)
真的懷念永顴堂的美麗風景, 絕對值得在滿佈楓葉的秋天前去參觀。
很想立刻回去, 減輕這兩個月的沉重氣氛。
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jameshuang
Taipei, Taiwan2,007 contributions
Jan 2014 • Couples
Eikan-do (永觀堂), also called Zenrinji-temple (禪林寺), is located northeast of Kyoto station and about 7 km (4.35 mi) from city center. It was founded in 863 AD, and Emperor Seiwa (清和天皇) named the temple "Zenrin-ji". Zenrin-ji is the head temple of Jodo-shu Seizan Zenrin-ji sect (淨土宗西山禪林寺派). Jodo-shu (浄土宗, "The Pure Land Buddhism") is also known as Jodo Buddhism. Amida Hall (阿彌陀佛堂), where the famous Mikaeri Amida statue (Amitabha looking back) is located in the center of worship, is enshrined here. Besides the importance of its history in Jodo-shu, it also has the most famous fall foliage scenery in the Kyoto area.

We visited here in late November. In November, Eikan-do’s garden has many maple trees changing their colors to red. Therefore the temple also known as "Eikando in Maple Leaves." People around the world come here to enjoy the scenery. In the garden, there is another eye-catching spot – the Hojo Pond (放生池). Many streams run through the garden and flow into Hojo Pond. The bridge across the pond to the Benten shrine (弁天社) on a small island is the best object to take photos of, especially in the leaf color changing season. The best time to visit the fall foliage is the second half of November. The temple is open in the evening with special illuminations. Unfortunately, we did not have time to stay till night. Because it is so beautiful, there were way too many visitors so we could not find a place to take a rest. You need to be patient in order to find the good spots to take photos. Just like most of the temples and gardens in Japan, tripods are not allowed in the precincts and no photos are allowed inside the temple. Remember to leave the tripod at the hotel. You need to purchase the tickets for both the daytime and evening visits during the fall evening illumination.

The walk is about 15-20 minutes from the nearest Keage subway station on the Tozai Line, or around five minutes from the Nanzenji-Eikando-michi bus stop. The Eikan-do opens from 9:00 to 17:00. The admission costs 600 yen (autumn daytime: 1000 yen, autumn nighttime: 600 yen).
Written December 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vacationingturtles
19 contributions
Jul 2015 • Family
We visted the garden first thing in the morning when it opened. It was so peaceful and serene. All the different gardens were so beautiful. Much more lovely than on pictures. It was about 30 minutes by bus from Kyoto station. The silver pagoda and philosopher's path is a short walk away. We heard that this place can be full of your buses, so go early and have a wonderful experience.
Written July 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ted C
La Mesa, CA194 contributions
Nov 2014 • Couples
About 5 years ago my wife and some school friends visited this temple in the fall when the leaves were turning and found it lovely so she wanted to return when we visited Kyoto recently.

The leaves are still lovely, and the garden quite nice however they have either engaged a new priest or a new director of tourist relations. The place is now seriously over-run with tourists to the point that it has turned from a charming experience to an uncomfortable and distressing one. I swear I have never seen so many Chinese tourists in one spot except for Fushimi Inari Shrine which is large enough to handle a large crowd.

The entrance fee of 1,000 yen per person is quite steep and frankly out of line for a temple in Kyoto, I do not care how much they spent on promoting themselves to the tour bus companies and building the new elevator to take people up to the main temple.

Avoid it. Spend some time at Nanzenji which is near by instead.
Written December 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

EredGorgoroth1
Jakarta, Indonesia9,912 contributions
Nov 2014 • Solo
Eikando is my favorite place to enjoy autumn foliage in southern to northern Higashiyama.

Following the path from Nanzenji is Eikando. A large temple complex by the hill, Eikando features temples, most beautiful gardens and ponds, Buddhist treasures, parks, pagoda, stunning scenery, and famous Amitabha Buddha turning over left shoulder statue.
The gardens at Eikando is colorful in autumn, rich and vibrant, which is distinct from other gardens which offers minimalist design.
Inside the temple is like a museum, treasures of Buddhism from year 800, including a wooden statue of Buddha Amida turning His head over his left shoulder (mikaeri amida nyorai). Dozens of arts in Eikando are holding titles as Japan National Treasures and Important Cultural Assets.
Behind the main temple complex is Tahoto Pagoda which is built on a hill giving best views in autumn.
The tree parks have various trees, ponds and fish which are vibrantly colorful in autumn.
The large pond is like a painting of nature with perfect proportion, composition, landscape and still reflection on water.
Near the exit is the dragon fountain, monuments of shishimon and statue of Kwanon which is adjacent to Eikando kindergarten.
Eikando is poetic temple and garden from many angles.
Written December 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brian R
Elk Grove, CA82 contributions
Nov 2018 • Family
We visited this temple when fall colors were fully showing. This was one of the most breathtaking locations we saw on a family holiday touring Japan.
Written November 25, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bjorkus
Syracuse75 contributions
Mar 2018 • Couples
How is this place not more popular? We were here on a Tuesday afternoon in mid March. Other temples like Kiyomizu-dera and Kinkaku-ji were packed, yet this temple was almost empty. You get to go inside the temple and wander through a decent amount of it. We spent probably an hour walking around and saw maybe twelve people the whole time. Very peaceful and beautiful temple. Our favorite of all the ones we saw in Kyoto.
Written March 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kenta-yokohama
Yokohama, Japan31 contributions
Nov 2017 • Solo
This is the most favorite temple in Japan.
I love this temple too much, thus I've come here 3 times for this one year....
I came here in February, May and November this year.
Although the beautiful autumn leaves is quite famous among Japanese people as well, I would like to recommend that you come here in winter season.
Please take a look at these photos.
Actually the autumn leaves is really beautiful, but..... How do you feel the picture that one Kimono girl is walking alone with a red umbrella during the snowing?
As for me, this is the most impressive scenery here in this 禅林寺.
As you might know, it's very very cold in Kyoto in winter ( January and February), thus there are relatively few tourists basically.
We are usually able to feel the essential beauty and genuine atmosphere here.
Especially, the early morning is the best timing to come.
Through feeling " 侘び寂び(wabi-sabi), you will definitely become more keen on Kyoto.
Basically there is no need to visit many places.
It's the best to visit and see your favorite spot many times through all seasons.
I can assure you that you will notice the fascinating elements through seeing the different sceneries of all seasons.
Written December 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

YummySum
Puchong, Malaysia91 contributions
Nov 2017 • Friends
One should be here before the sunset, and enjoy how the view being tranformed into the night by the beautiful lightings. The walk around the garden would have been serene and enjoyable if there wasn't groups and groups of tourists from China. The crowd was noisy, which "disturbed" the pleasure of observing the garden view.
Taking photos without people on the background was almost impossible.
Written November 23, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

anthonyjames1000
United Kingdom301 contributions
Jan 2015 • Couples
this is a very very nice place to see would recommend it would suggest you go to the entrance of the JR STATION in Kyoto turn right and there is a travel agents right in front of you do it as part of the afternoon walking tour very cheap
Written July 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Eikando Zenrinji Temple is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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