Nanzenji TempleTemple of Nanzenji
The Nanzen-ji Temple, one of the best temples in the northern Higashiyama district, is a sprawling Zen paradise surrounded by lush green hills. The Nanzenji Temple is home to priceless treasures and steeped in the mysticism of Zen. At the southern end of the Philosopher's Path, the Nanzen-ji Temple was not always the perfect portrait of serenity and Zen.
Travelling to Kyoto: Temple of Nanzenji
The Nanzenji Temple (???), whose vast terrain lies at the foot of the wooded Higashiyama Mountain of Kyoto, is one of the most important Zen Temple in all of Japan. This is the main temple of one of the Rinzai cult of Japanese Zen Buddhism and contains several subtempers, which make the already large temple building even bigger.
Nanzenji's story goes back to the mid-13th centuries, when Emperor Kameyama erected his retiring mansion on the temple's present site and later transformed it into a Zen temple. Nanzenji has grown continuously since its foundation, but its building was all demolished during the long Muromachi period (1333-1573) civilian-war.
This is the oldest of today's building constructed after this time. Nanzenji's main temple area is open to the general public free of cost, but there are extra charges for entry to temple structures and sub temples. First, the visitor will come across Nanzenji's huge Sanmon doorway, which stretches across the tree tops. The Hatto (Dharma Room) is behind the door, a large auditorium that cannot be accessed by the population.
Behind Hatto lies the Hojo, the former high priests' palace and Nanzenji's mall. The visitor enters the Hojo buildings through the former temple cuisine ( "Kuri"), where they also find a small teahouse with a small cascade overlook. Out of the Hojo, the visitor will come across a somewhat strange sight: a large brickwork aqueduct that leads through the temple area.
The Meiji period construction (1868-1912) forms part of a sewer system designed to transport goods and waters between Kyoto and Lake Biwa in the nearby Shiga Prefecture. The Nanzenin Temple is one of Nanzenji's sub temples open to the public. Situated directly behind the waterfront on the former site of the former residence of Kaiser Kameyama, it comprises an emperor's tomb, a temple room and a gardens that revolve around a lake that becomes particularly appealing in the fall.
On the edge of the Nanzenji Temple Temples the Konchi-in Temple is another sub-temple open to the population. This temple was established in 1400, but at the beginning of the 16th century it was relocated to its present state. In Konchi-in there are a multitude of houses, Fussuma painting, rockeries, a teahouse and a small branch of the Toshogu shrine.
The Tenjuan Temple is just a few metres away and is also open to the general population. This is a small sub-temple devoted to the Zen teacher who ministered to Emperor Kameyama in his devotional work. The Tenjuan has a central lobby, a door and a workroom dating from the early seventeenth cent. From Nanzenji you can reach the Tozai Line (about 20 min, 260ya from Kyoto by metro via Karasuma-Oike Station), or 5-10 min on foot from the next stop, Nanzenji-Eikando-michi stop (35 min, 230yen from Kyoto stop by Kyoto City Number 5 bus).
Also Nanzenji is only a brief stroll from the south end of the Philosopher's Trail, while the Ginkakuji Temple is at the north end. 8:40 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February), entrance ends 20 min before closure. 8:40 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February), entrance ends 20 min before closure.
8:40 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February), entrance ends 20 min before closure. Ten walking mins from Kyoto station. Situated within Kyoto Station, the most comfortable 4-star Kyoto resort. Luxurious and stylish property near the temple of Sanjusangendo. Affordable and well-liked youth lodging in the centre of the town near Kawaramachi railway station.