Few travellers make the journey all the way out to this sprawling temple complex, but most who do find it a pleasant spot. It’s certainly a good counterpoint to the crowded and more famous temples nearby.
Originally containing more than 60 structures, Ninna-ji was built in 888 and is the head temple of the Omuro branch of the Shingon school. The present temple buildings, including a five-storey pagoda, date from the 17th century.
On the extensive grounds you’ll find a peculiar grove of short-trunked, multi-petalled cherry trees called Omuro-no-Sakura, which draw large crowds in April. A separate fee (¥500) is charged to enter during blooming season.
Separate admission fees (an additional ¥500 each) are charged for both the Kondō (Main Hall) and Reihōkan (Treasure House), which are only open April to May and October to November.