Sanzen-in Temple was originally founded during 782 to 806 by the priest Saicho (Dengyo Daishi) on Mt. Hiei-zan.
Saicho, considered as one of the great patriarchs of Buddhism in Japan, also founded Enryaku-ji Temple on the mountain.
After replaced several times, the temple settled in the current location in 1871.
Sanzen-in Temple is one of the three Tendai school Monzeki temples, along with Shoren-in Temple and Myoho-in Temple.
The temple buildings are placed with keeping the natural contours of its landscape.
Trees are ablaze with red and yellow tints in the autumn on the ground covered with beautiful green moss.
The Ojo-Gokuraku Hall (Temple of Rebirth in Paradise) houses the impressive Amitabha trinity, a large image of Amida Nyorai flanked by attendants Kannon Bosatsu and Seishi Bosatsu, gods of mercy and wisdom, respectively.
These images are designated as National Treasures of Japan.
The temple is also famous for its hydrangea garden at the back of the temple.
In late spring and summer, you can walk among 3,000 of blooming hydrangea.
Another attraction of the temple is the oddly named Otonashi-no-Taki (Soundless Waterfall).
The name came from a legend that the sound of this waterfall has been inspired by Shomyo Buddhist chanting.
You can visit the waterfall by walking up the hill around the right side of the temple.
- 8:30 - 17:00 (March - November)
- 8:30 - 16:30 (December - February)
- No closing days
Access / Public Transport
- 62 minutes from JR Kyoto Station by the bus bound for Ohara. Get off at the last stop.