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Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple, Kyoto

4.5
#44 of 347 in Historic Sites in Kyoto
Religious Site Tourist Spot
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 holiday in Kyoto, and find out what else Kyoto has to offer, use our Kyoto itinerary planner.
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Where to stay in Kyoto

Kyoto spoils visitors for choice when it comes to good accommodations, offering everything from traditional ryokans to luxury Western-style hotels. In a city used to receiving foreign travelers, you'll find that most establishments know exactly what to offer tourists and how to help newcomers to the area. To avoid paying premium prices during the cherry blossom season, consider staying in Osaka, located just a 30-minute train ride away. If you must stay in Kyoto itself, keep in mind that centrally located hotels charge more than those in the outer neighborhoods.
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  • If you're wanting a break from the more crowded temples, this one is quite small and quaint. There are 1000 buddhas, each with a unique expression, many of them covered in moss.  more »
  • It is my favorite place in Arashiyama~ The temple is very calm and not touristic yet because it takes about 30 minutes walk from the Bamboo Forest. But it is a beautiful walk through Sagano Preserved ...  more »
  • This shrine was our favourite of all the places we visited in Kyoto. Just up the hill from the tourist craziness of Arashiyama. This shrine is a quiet, peaceful place covered in amazing statues going ...  more »