Museums & Sights



When Emperor Hanazono officially achieved enlightenment, his villa was converted into a Zen temple. Over the following six centuries, Myoshin-ji grew into the most influential Rinzai-sect temple in Japan, with around 3,500 affili-ated temples nationwide. You wouldn’t know it to walk the hushed streets of this enclave. Even though its scale is awe-inspiring, with 46 sub-temples covering a vast area, it’s a dreamy, tranquil place. The treasures include the oldest bell in Japan (dated 698) and several works by Tanyu Kano, such as a dragon on the roof of the Lecture Hall. Depending on the angle from which you view the beast, he appears to be either ascending or descending, but his eyes glare at you wherever you stand.

Kyoto Shortlist

Review updated October 2009


Myoshinji-cho, Hanazono, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto

Transport Myoshinji station (Keifuku line).

Telephone 075 463 3121

Open 24 hours daily. tours 9.10am-3.40pm.

Admission Free. Tours ¥500.

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


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