Adashino Nenbutsuji, Kyoto

At the hilltop temple of Adashino Nenbutsuji in Kyoto, thousands of stone Buddha statues mourn the dead who have been brought here since the Heian period. The main hall contains a medieval Amida Buddha.

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History of Adashino Nenbutsuji

From the Heian (794-1185) to Edo (1603-1868) periods, the destitute of the Adashino area brought their dead to this hill, leaving the bodies exposed to the elements. Receiving no tombstone or proper burial, their souls were honored by stone Buddhas.

The main temple hall at Adashino Nenbutsuji was built in 1712.

What to See at Adashino Nenbutsuji

A 30-minute walk along a country lane from Saga Arashiyama leads past Nison-in, souvenir shops, and noodle restaurants before heading up a small hill. Here a beautiful bamboo path surrounds visitors in green as they approach the temple.

The primary focus of the temple is the extraordinary field of about 8,000 roughly-carved stone Buddhas, who honor the souls of the dead that were left here. The sight is especially evocative in the late afternoon, as the shadows beneath the figures lengthen.

The main temple hall, built in 1712, contains a medieval sculpture of the Amida Buddha created by Tankei in the Kamakura Era (1185-1333).

Festivals and Events

On August 23 and 24, at a Buddhist ceremony called Sento-kuyo, more than 1,000 candles are lit at Adashino Nenbutsuji in honor of the spirits of ancestors.

Quick Facts on Adashino Nenbutsuji

Site Information
Names:Adashino Nembutsu-ji · Adashino Nenbutsuji
Categories:cemeteries; temples
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:35.026835° N, 135.664592° E
Address:17 Adashino-cho
Kyoto, Japan
Hours:Mar-Nov daily 9-4:30
Dec-Feb daily 9-4
Lodging:View hotels near Adashino Nenbutsuji
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. Adashino Nembutsu-ji - Fodor's Japan

More Information

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