Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji

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Kyoto | The Head Temple Of The Buddhist Sect Seizan Branch

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 Kyoto | The Head Temple Of The Buddhist Sect Seizan Branch

Eikando Zenrinji is the head temple of the Buddhist sect Seizan branch. It is most commonly known today as Eikando but was formerly more commonly known as Zenrinji. The temple was named after a priest named Eikando. The temple has stood in Eastern Kyoto as a villa which was donated to the priest who converted the villa into a temple.

With about 3,000 maple trees on the temple grounds, Eikando Zenrinj is most famous for its beautiful autumn colors and illuminations during the fall season. The temple and its surrounding buildings are illuminated, lighting up the area in beautiful warm colors. The temple has several distinctive features including the Tahoto Pagoda. Sitting on the hills, the two-story pagoda provides an amazing view of the town of Kyoto and the temple itself. The Tahoto Pagoda is an attractive tourist spot during the fall when tourists gather to get a glimpse of the beautiful town filled with warm maple leaves. The Hojo Pond is another popular feature of Eikando Zenrinji. Streams from the temple grounds flow into Hojo Pond which surrounds the exquisite garden. There is also the Mikaeri-Amida Buddhist statue. While most statues depict the Buddha Amitabha looking straight ahead, this statue of Amida Buddha has his face turned to look over his shoulder. There is also a unique cloister to the temple, called Garyurou, that ascends the mountain slope in a fashion to look as if it were a dragon on the hill. Be sure to visit Eikando Zenrinji during the late November days when the temple grounds are illuminated and beautiful autumn colors fills the space.

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