Attraction 36 Sennyuji Yamanouchicho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto, 605-0977, Japan Published on: 08-03-2016
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Why Unryuin is special ?
Unryuin Temple is the blanch temple of Sennyu-ji Temple. It was established in 1372 by Emperor Gokogon, later Emperor Goen-yu who believed that the practice of shakyo (sutra copying) would bring blessings and started Nyoho Shakyo. Since then the practice of Nyoho Shyako has been handed down to the present day and Nyoho Shyako gatherings has been held on every 27th of the month. The beautiful garden is covered by cherry blossoms in spring and maple leaves in autumn which are lit up in the evenings. During that time, a special exhibition is also organized. It is a great place where you can quietly enjoy the beauty of seasonal sceneries.
What to explore at Unryuin?
The Unryuin temple has two large halls, Ryugeden and Reimeiden, each one with its rather empty garden. The best, however, is the back garden and the three rooms that surround it. These rooms are good spots to enjoy classic Japanese architecture: tatami, shoji, tokonoma, etc... The second part of the temple is reached by turning left after the entrance. The room features couple of windows, one round (the window of Enlightenment) and one square (the window of Desillusion). This may remind you Genkoan which is the best example of this type of window pair in Kyoto. Attached to the main room, a second smaller room has an interesting tokonoma featuring a moon-shaped cut-out. Someone who likes ikebana lives in the temple, as the numerous arrangements found here and there attest. You will also find several paper lanterns along the path of visit, all of this contributing to the excellent atmosphere of this temple.
How to get to Unryuin?
It takes 30 minute walk from the Tofukuji Station on the JR Nara Line Keihan Train and 20 minute walk from the “Sennyu-ji” stop on the Kyoto City Bus.
- Hidden temple with beautiful flowers
- Nice temple atmosphere
- Very calm and quite temple
- Temple for sutra and meditation
- A serene beauty is a small temple
36 Sennyuji Yamanouchicho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto, 605-0977, Japan
Tips for you
At Unryuin Temple, visitors will have a chance to do Shakyo, the act of copying sutra is believed to be highly therapeutic, as one focus on the task at hand (JPY 1000, from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm). During the event at the temple, you can also put on one of the kimonos (for 500 yen). If you meet a local good at English, you should ask them to tell about the history of Japan. There’re a lot of interesting stories to tell.Things to do
Recommended by a local friend. Unryuin offers a respite from the crowds. A sub temple of tennyuji泉涌寺, unryuin is located in the southeast area. We arrived in taxi from kiyomizudera. Otherwise bus 202,207 or 208 all stops at tennyuji or take JR Nara line to toufukuzi /tofukuji 東福寺. Unryuin is about a 15 minute walk from the bus stop or JR station. The central garden is beautiful. My favorite was the Renge room with 4 square windows. The room itself looks like a painting with the borrowed view from the garden outside. Unryuin also offers spring and fall evening light up of the garden. If you are interested in Buddhism, transcribing a sutra tower is available. I regret not having spent enough time at this location. I did not get to visit the window of enlightenment which is a circular paper window. I have not visited the main building of Ryugeden. Must go back again.