A quiet option, this temple is just down the path west of the entry gate to Shōrin-in. The main tatami room offers a view of a bamboo garden and the surrounding mountains, framed like a painting by the beams and posts of the building. There is also a fantastic 700-year-old pine tree in the garden. The blood-stained Chi Tenjō ceiling boards came from Fushimi-jō castle.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kansai attractions

1. Shōrin-in

0.03 MILES

This temple near Sanzen-in is worth a look, even if only through its admission gate, to admire the thatched roof of the main hall. It’s a good option if…

2. Jikkō-in

0.05 MILES

Only about 50m north of Sanzen-in, this small temple is often praised for its lovely garden and fudan-zakura cherry tree, which blossoms between October…

3. Sanzen-in


Famed for its autumn foliage, hydrangea garden and stunning Buddha statues, this temple is deservedly popular with foreign and domestic tourists alike…

4. Jakkō-in

0.75 MILES

Jakkō-in is a small temple on the opposite side of Ōhara from Sanzen-in. It’s reached by a pleasant 15-minute walk from the bus station through an ‘old…

5. Enryaku-ji

1.71 MILES

Located atop 848m-high Hiei-zan (the mountain that dominates the skyline in the northeast of the city), the Enryaku-ji complex is an entire world of…

6. Yuki-jinja

3.58 MILES

This atmospheric Shintō shrine is located along the trail up to Kurama-dera. The stairs to the main hall are flanked by two enormous cryptomeria trees.

7. Kurama-dera

3.58 MILES

Located high on a thickly wooded mountain, Kurama-dera is one of the few temples in modern Japan that manages to retain an air of real spirituality. This…

8. Sōjō-ga-dani Fudō-dō

3.81 MILES

This small subtemple on the descent to Kibune enshrines a figure of Fudō, one of the myōō (Buddhist Kings of Light).