Rinnoji, Nikko

Rinno-ji (or Rinnoji, 輪王寺) is a complex of 15 Buddhist temple buildings nestled on a hillside in scenic Nikko, Japan.

Rinnoji Temple was founded in 766 AD by the Buddhist hermit Shoto, who first settled the Nikko area. A statue in his honor graces the temple park. Rinnoji quickly became a popular retreat for ascetic monks to meditate in the mountains, and it increased in importance until at one time it had 500 subtemples under its rule.

Rinnoji is best known for its Three-Buddha Hall (Sanbutsudoh Hall) featuring three large gold-leafed Buddha statues, and the extensive and beautiful Japanese meditation garden (Shōyō-en Garden) that covers the property.

The three golden Buddha statues in Sanbutsudoh Hall are of Amida Buddha, Senju-Kannon ("Kannon with a thousand arms") and Bato-Kannon ("Kannon with a horse head"). The three deities are regarded as Buddhist manifestations of Nikko's three mountain kami (Shinto gods), who are honored at Futarasan Shrine in Nikko.


Quick Facts on Rinnoji

Site Information
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:36.754995° N, 139.600300° E
Address:Nikko, Japan
Lodging:View hotels near Rinnoji
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.


  1. Norbert C. Brockman, Encyclopedia of Sacred Places (1997).

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© Holly Hayes
© Holly Hayes

Map of Rinnoji, Nikko

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