There are many beautiful autumnal spots in Kyoto, but one of the famous attractions is “Eikando” (Zenrin-ji Temple). It is a historical temple where the beauty of colored leaves has appeared in the waka poem since ancient times, there are many cultural assets, and it is also famous for lighting up the colored leaves.
Eikando is located in Eikanido-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto. It is located in the eastern part of Kyoto city, in the area where there are many famous temples and shrines, such as Nanzenji and Heian Jingu Shrine, and Ginkakuji when you go up to the north. It is an area with many tourist attractions.
Getting to the nearest Eikando is by bus. Take the 5 lines of the Kyoto city bus and get off at the “Nazenji Eikando” bus stop and you will arrive in about 3 to 5 minutes on foot. In addition, if you get off at “Miyanomae-cho” or “Higashi-Tenno-cho” if it is 100 or 32 buses, it takes about 5 to 8 minutes.
If you go by train, the nearest station is the “Keage” station on the municipal subway Tozai Line. It takes about 15 minutes on foot from the station. In the case of a train, the walking distance will be longer, but it may be better to go by train because the bus may take a long time due to traffic congestion.
Eikando was founded in 853 by Shinjo Sozu, a senior disciple of Kukai (Kobo Daishi).Originally this place was a mountain cottage of the person named FUJIWARA no Sekio of the poet / literary person, but was donated to Shinjo Sozu. However, in Kyoto at that time, it was not possible to build a temple without permission, so in 863 the temple was officially sanctioned by Emperor Seiwa in honor of imperial sanction and “Zenrinji Temple”.
Eikan-do’s autumn leaves are admired by “Kokin Wakashu” (A Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry). It is known that “Eikando of Colored leaves” has been famous since ancient times. That is why Eikando is quite crowded during the fall season. Especially, the light up of autumn leaves is famous as the autumn leaves spot of Kyoto, and it is expected that the crowded. You may be able to enjoy the leaves in a relatively relaxed manner if you aim for hours on a weekday, in the open gate, or near the closed gate.
Eikando has over 3000 trees that fall, so it is safe to say that the whole temple is dyed in autumn. It has been loved by many tourists since ancient times. The Japanese garden and the colored leaves are the scenery where you can fully enjoy the unique emotions of Japan.
Eikando Zenrin-ji Temple is a Zen temple which is a famous place of autumnal leaves being called “Eikan-do Temple of the maple in autumn”, and has wonderful legends, such as the Mikaeri Amida Nyorai (Amitabha looking back) statue, for many years.
It is said that the priest Shinsho, who studied Buddha’s preach esoteric Buddhism under Kukai (Kobo Daishi), began Eikan-do where the quiet space wrapped in trees or a pond spreads in 853.
Though originally devoted to the Shingon Sect, the temple began a shift towards the Pure Land Sect under seventh chief priest and restoration patriarch Yokan.
It was due to the role of chief priest Yokan that Zenrin-ji Temple came to be called Eikan-do.
In Eikando Zenrin-ji Temple located on the slope, the corridor extending upwards connects many temples links to the top. The pleasure of the excursion around there and impending beautiful nature in front bring on particular flavor.
The Mikaeri Amida Nyorai (Amitabha looking back) statue is the product from last years of Heian era to the early Kamakura era, and counted in one of the six temples dedicated to Amitabha. It is the very rare peculiar figure which has turned back over the left shoulder. This figure originates in the tradition that the Amitabha Buddha statue looked back to Eikan under practice, and called out to him “Without being tardy, Eikan”.
Garyoro (Reclining Dragon Corridor) which the roofed staircase linking many temples was given its name due to its resemblance to a dragon’s back. Kodai-ji Temple has the corridor of the same name. Garyoro of Eikan-do draws a loose curve and the combination of a roof and stairs looks like bellows. When you go up and down the stairs without the wall, it is interesting, looking at outer green as it is bending down to pass under the inside of the belly of a dragon. This corridor seems to be built without using one nail.
In many autumnal-leaves famous places in Kyoto, this place is known for the beauty of autumnal leaves as appeared “Eikan-do Temple of the maple” in Kokin Wakashu (A Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry).
The precincts of a temple are lit up in the “night visit of autumn” performed from the beginning of November to the beginning of December.
|Name:||Eikando Zenrin-ji Temple|
|Address:||Eikandocho 48 Kyoto Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8445 Japan|
|Access:||Kyoto Municipal Subway Tozai-sen Line “Keage-eki Station” (15 minutes walk)|
|Price:||600 yen (Adults : 19 years old or over)
400 yen (Child : 6 to18 years old)
Please refer the official web page.