Honen-in Temple, Nanzen-ji Temple, and Sanjūsangen-dō Temple

There are so many beautiful temples to see in Kyoto! I thought I’d write about three more temples we saw while in Kyoto that had some pretty unique features!

Honen-in Temple

Honen-in is quite small compared to other sites and I found it very calm and peaceful as it didn’t seem as busy as some other temples. The gardens are well-kept and serene and when you walk into the main area you pass through two sand piles which is said to cleanse you.

Nanzen-ji Temple

Nanzen-ji has large grounds to walk through and multiple buildings to see. The main thing to see here though is the aqueduct. It’s pretty weird to be walking through Kyoto and come across this site. Apparently it used to carry water between Kyoto and Lake Biwa. It’s pretty cool!

Sanjūsangen-dō Temple

This temple was one of our favorites  in Kyoto. The building and grounds are beautiful but pretty comparable to most of the other temples I saw in Kyoto. It’s what’s inside this temple that is really amazing. Once you get inside you are required to remove your shoes and you are not allowed to take pictures. You enter into a huge hall full of 1001 statues of the goddess Kannon covered in gold leaf. It’s an awe-inspiring sight. There are multiple other statues of various Buddhist and Hindu deities too and there are many English information plaques around so you can find out who each of the statues is. I would definitely recommend checking this temple out!

You can’t really go wrong while temple exploring in Kyoto. Every temple has something to see and I found what worked well for us was to pick our top ones to see and go from there. Often you find others along the way!

-Rachel

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