Museums & Sights

Recommended Major venue


Built during the 12th century for emperor-turned-monk Go-Shirakawa, Sanjusangen-do has several claims to fame. The 120m-long main hall is the longest wooden building in Japan; it was the site of one of the most famous duels of Musashi Miyamoto, the legendary Japanese swordsman; and each January it plays host to an archery contest. But when you step inside that long hall, you’ll see why this is such a popular temple. A breathtaking 1,000 golden statues of the Bodhisattva Kannon stand in orderly rows, facing their visitors to offer them protection. In the centre sits a 3m-tall Kannon, the work of an 82-year-old master sculptor, Tankei, back in 1254. Photography is prohibited.

Kyoto Shortlist

Review updated October 2009


657 Sanjusangen-do, Mawari-cho, Higashiyama-ku., Kyoto

Transport Shichijo Station (Keihan line).

Open 1 april-15 nov 8am-5pm daily. 16 nov-31 mar 9am-4pm daily.

Admission Admission ¥600.

Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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