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
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||36.754995° N, 139.600300° E|
|Lodging:||View hotels near Rinnoji|
- Norbert C. Brockman, Encyclopedia of Sacred Places (1997).
- Official Website of Rinnoji Temple (Japanese only)
- Rinnoji Temple - Nikko Tourist Association (English)
- Rinno-ji (Rinno Buddhist Temple) - The World Heritage Shrines and Temples of Nikko (English)
- Rinnoji Temple - Japan-Guide.com
- Things to Do in Nikko - TripAdvisor
- Shrines and Temples: A Trip to Nikko - TravelBlog
- Rinnoji, Nikko - Go Historic
- Photos of Rinnoji - here on Sacred Destinations
Map of Rinnoji, Nikko
Below is a location map and aerial view of Rinnoji. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.