Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple, Kyoto

4.5
#42 of 347 in Historic Sites in Kyoto
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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158 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • July 12, 2017
    This temple is a great combination of being out of the ordinary and off the beaten path. While its history dates back to 800 AD, its statues were built by modern Buddhist followers and by design are m...  more »
  • June 14, 2017
    Contains a lot of Buddha's disciples. To each have a unique look. Moss was covered nicely. He is my favorite.
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  • June 14, 2017
    Click here to visit spring time. MOSS-covered 1,200 what Rakan statues are impressive. Guests can enjoy a different look each of them. Beautiful contrast of green. Located down at lunchtime, a little "Ivy," Ayu kaiseki is recommended. If the Spring bamboo shoots, autumn mushroom can be tasted.
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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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