Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple, Kyoto

4.5
Though this hidden gem has some very unusual sights to offer, Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple often goes unnoticed amongst the region's huge variety of temples. Here you'll find over 1,200 mossy "rakan," stone sculptures of the Buddha's enlightened disciples, each with its own unique facial expression. Originally founded in the 8th century, the temple has been repaired and moved many times over the years, having faced destruction from both flooding and civil war. The statues were donated by worshippers in honor of the temple's most recent refurbishment, carved by amatuers between 1981 and 1991. You can spend plenty of time inspecting the various depictions of those alone, before even getting to the modest but intricate spiritual structures themselves. To visit Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple on your trip to Kyoto, use our Kyoto travel route builder website .
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Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple Reviews
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177 reviews
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  • This temple is worth the long walk through Arashiyama. We were going to give this one a miss but very glad we didn't.  more »
  • This is a charming temple in the NW of Kyoto. It is at the top of a steep hill so we took a cab right to the entrance. There are stairs and ramps within the temple but I have knee issues and had no tr...  more »
  • One of my favorite spots in Kyoto area, and almost never ever crowded. The 100s wacky moss covered rakan statues are a treat, especially for those that are "templed out" is a welcome change from all t...  more »

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