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Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple, Kyoto

4.6
#38 of 696 in Historic Sites in Kyoto
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Though this hidden gem has some very unusual sights to offer, Otagi Nenbutsu-ji 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 Nenbutsu-ji Temple on your trip to Kyoto, use our Kyoto travel route builder website.
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Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
284 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Love this temple. It have so many unique craved stone statues, each are unique and their own personalities. Seems the stones were craved by visitors to the temple many, many years ago. Many stones... 
    Love this temple. It have so many unique craved stone statues, each are unique and their own personalities. Seems the stones were craved by visitors to the temple many, many years ago. Many stones...  more »
  • Quiet and quaint little temple north of the Bamboo Forest and Kimono Forest. You can catch the bus from Arashiyama station and then exit Atagoteramae station. I believe it's only $5 to enter the... 
    Quiet and quaint little temple north of the Bamboo Forest and Kimono Forest. You can catch the bus from Arashiyama station and then exit Atagoteramae station. I believe it's only $5 to enter the...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful Temple located in Kyoto. Mind relaxing scenery. It’s called one of beautiful temple in autumn season. No so crowded. Spiritual blessings. Very calm and nice place, Area.
  • ¥300 entry and the 94 bus stops just outside the entrance. Easily reached from central Arashiyama (the bridge) in 20 minutes or so. Make sure you check the times of your return bus as they seem to be only once per hour. Awesome place and well worth the slight detour. It is different to other temples with so many statues carved by locals and their unique facial expressions. Lots of moss. Beautiful temples and paths up and around them. We were lucky and only 3 other people were there for about 20 minutes while we visited! (Probably due to covid) English leaflet provided

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