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An Introductory Video of Sanjusangendo, One of Kyoto's Leading Sightseeing Destinations

This video, titled "Sanjusangendo, Kyoto in 4K - Japan As It Truly Is" (Sanjusangendo, Kyoto in 4K - 三十三間堂 京都 - Japan As It Truly Is), was uploaded by "The Japan FAQ."
It Introduces Sanjusangendo, a popular tourist destination in Kyoto, located in Japan's Kansai Region.

Sanjusangendo is a historical tourist attraction that many students in Kyoto visit on field trips.
The temple is a National Treasure and an Important Cultural Property, and is also known for its many annual events.
This article will introduce highlights of and tourist information about Sanjusangendo.

Sightseeing Information for Sanjusangendo, a Popular Sightseeing Destination in Kyoto

Image of the east gate at Sanjusangendo, Higashiyama, Kyoto
Photo:The east gate at Sanjusangendo, Higashiyama, Kyoto

Sanjusangendo is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Tendai sect of Buddhism, and is located in Sanjusangendo-Mawaramachi, in Higashiyama, Kyoto.
It is located in the Higashiyama Shichijo area of Kyoto and is surrounded by many historical tourist attractions, including Hokoji Temple, Toyokuni Shrine, and the Kyoto National Museum.

Regarding transportation, Sanjusangendo is conveniently located approximately 10 minutes by bus from JR Kyoto Station.
There is also a parking lot available for those coming by car.
There is an admission fee to enter the temple, and the average time required to visit and tour the temple is about 45 minutes.
That being said, there are many attractions to see at Sanjusangendo, so we recommend setting aside adequate time to view everything the temple has to offer.

History and Highlights of Sanjusangendo

Image of the Japanese garden at Sanjusangendo, Kyoto
Photo:The Japanese garden at Sanjusangendo, Kyoto

The video begins at the gate of Sanjusangendo and starts by introducing the Japanese garden located on the temple grounds.
There are hydrangeas in bloom in the beautiful, well-maintained garden, which was designed as a strolling garden with a lovely pond located at its center by professional Japanese garden landscapers.
Shown at 1:33 in the video is the main hall of Rengeo-in (Sanjusangendo), which has been designated as a National Treasure.
The main hall is 120 meters long from north to south and has 33 spaces between the pillars, which is why it is called Sanjusangendo (三十三間堂, roughly "The Hall of 33 Intervals," because there are 33 intervals between the building's support columns).
Sanjusangendo was built by Emperor Go-Shirakawa in the late Heian Period, but was destroyed by fire and the current building was rebuilt in 1266 during the Kamakura Period.
In order to make Sanjusangendo resistant to earthquakes and fires, various seismic isolation methods have been employed, such as connecting the pillars with two beams.

From 2:26 in the video, the inner hall of Sanjusangendo is introduced.
There are a total of 1,001 statues of Kannon, Fujin and Raijin, the gods of wind and thunder respectively, as well as 28 Buddhist statues enshrined in the hall.
The standing statues of the thousand-armed Kannon (Goddess of Mercy), designated as National Treasures are lined up in a row and are a sight to behold.
It is said that among the statues there is always a Buddhist statue with a face that looks like you, or one that resembles the face of the person you wish to meet.
Be sure to take your time looking…

Then, shown at 2:37, you can see the 3-meter-tall seated statue of the Thousand-armed Kannon, also designated as a national treasure.
The statue has 42 hands, representing the "thousand arms," but because it is difficult to sculpt such a statue 42 arms are sculpted instead, 2 of which form the Mudra of Veneration while the remaining 40 represent the 25 Buddhist worlds.
Other attractions include Taikobei and Nandaimon Gate, which were donated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Annual Events at Sanjusangendo

Image of Omato Taikai, Sanjusangendo
Photo:Omato Taikai, Sanjusangendo

The most well-known events held at Sanjusangendo are "Yanagi no Okaji," a ritual involving holy water, and "Omato Taikai," a coming-of-age archery competition, both of which are associated with "Toshiya."
Both of these events are held on Sundays around January 15th, and are always crowded with people.
During "Omato Taikai," approximately 2,000 fresh adults loose arrows at a distance of 120 meters in the main hall.
"Yanagi no Okaji" is a ritual of praying to the goddess of mercy with a toothpick and pouring water over worshippers to remove various illnesses, and is said to be particularly effective in preventing headaches.

"Shunto-e" a spring festival held every year on March 3, is also a popular event, with flower exhibitions and performances, and peach charms for women.

Summary of Sanjusangendo, One of Kyoto's Foremost Tourist Attractions

This video, titled "Sanjusangendo, Kyoto in 4K - Japan As It Truly Is," introduces Sanjusangendo (Rengeo-in), a Buddhist Temple and one of Kyoto's leading sightseeing destinations.
Sanjusangendo is also known to ward off incurable diseases, be sure to enjoy it in its entirety.

We hope you enjoyed this article introducing the history of and access to Sanjusangendo.
If you're planning to visit temples around Kyoto, we highly recommend adding Sanjusangendo to your list!

【TripAdvisor】Sanjusangendo (Rengeo-in)

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Last Updated : Jun. 18, 2023
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1,001 Statues of the Thousand-Armed Goddess of Mercy in the Main Hall of Sanjusangendo! Explore One of Kyoto's Foremost Sightseeing Destinations With This Awesome Video!
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