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Sanjusangendo

The 1001 Buddhist statues temple in Kyoto

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It took me until the fourth stay in Kyoto to finally visit the Sanjusangen-do. There are countless temples worth visiting in the historic capital of Kansai, and among these, Sanjusangendo sometimes sounds like a forgotten one, perhaps because its heart and soul, the statues, can't be taken in photos or videos by any visitor. Yet they are probably one of the most beautiful pieces a neophyte like me can have the opportunity to admire.

Because the preserved "33 intervals" temple's treasure is a collection of 1,001 statues of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of compassion. On both sides of a gigantic and sublime representation of Senju Kannon (Kannon with a thousand arms and eleven heads), ten rows of 500 human scale statues guard the premises. At every interval, a bronze representation of another deity majestically welcomes visitors, who can admire the serenity that emanates from the whole.

Pictures are strictly prohibited, so here are the only official photos taken inside the Sanjusangen-do, from the website.

If you go to Kyoto during your trip to Japan, I definitely recommend you include this Kannon Temple in your itinerary.

Here are my pictures of and around Sanjusangen-do, which building turns to be the longest wooden building in Japan, with its 120 meters. The original structure, which dates from 1164, was rebuilt during the 13th century after being destroyed in a fire. At the time, the reconstruction was made of layers of clay and sand to protect it from earthquakes, which still works very well today!

⬇️ Further down this page, discover our visit guide in Sanjusangendo and around.
By Kanpai Last Updated on August 27, 2020 Sanjusangen-do