Rinnō-ji

sights / Religious

Rinnō-ji information

Lonely Planet review

This Tendai-sect temple was founded 1200 years ago by Shōdō Shōnin. The Sambutsu-dō (三仏堂; Three-Buddha Hall), is constructed from some 360m of zelkova trees and is the main attraction. Inside are three 8m gilded wooden Buddha statues. The central image is Amida Nyorai (one of the primal deities in the Mahayana Buddhist canon), flanked by Senjū (1000-armed Kannon, deity of mercy and compassion) and Batō (a horse-headed Kannon), whose special domain is the animal kingdom.

Rinnō-ji's Hōmotsu-den houses some 6000 treasures associated with the temple; the separate admission ticket includes entrance to the Shōyō-en strolling garden.