Sanjusangen-do with 1001 Senju Kannon statues (the statue of the Thousand-Armed Kannon)

Sanjusangen-do (三十三間堂) is near Kyoto Station.
Its name is known for its 1001 statues of Senju Kannon (the statue of the Thousand-Armed Kannon) and the through arrow set in the Edo period.
It is one of the tourist attractions in Kyoto.



About Sanjusangen-do

This temple, which is known as Sanjusangen-do (Thirty-three-do), is called Rengeō-in (蓮華王院, hall of the Lotus King).
The name “Sanjusan” is derived from “Thirty-three Faces of Four,” and has an architectural feature of having 33 pillars in the hall.

In the Edo period, it becomes the stage for “long-range archery (通し矢)”.
Through arrows were placed at the north end of the edge, and were shot at a distance of 120 meters from the south end of the west edge of the temple with a bow to compete for the number of arrows.
Today, the “Sanjusangendo Grand National Convention” is held on the day of adulthood.

Main hall designated as a national treasure

Photo of “Sanjusangendo Grand National Convention”



What is Senju Kannon (Thousand-Armed Kannon)?

Kannon with a thousand hands, each with an eye on the palm.
A thousand hands indicates the vastness of mercy, and a thousand eyes indicate that the wisdom of inspiration is mellow.
A great pessimistic Kannon that saves those who fall on the hungry road.
The belief of the Senju Kannon in Japan has been carried out since the 8th century, and its statues are distributed throughout the country.

There are a lot of Senju Kannon statues in Sanjusangen-do, and the current number is 1001 which is the main deity.
All statues are designated as national treasures.
The reason why there are 1000 bodies is that there are 40 hands in Senju Kannon and 25 salvation works in each.
In other words, 40 × 25 has 1,000 salvation.
Of the 1,000, 124 were statues of the Heian period (c.794-1185), and others were built during the Kamakura period (c. 1185-1333), and about 500 of them retain their names.
Famous sculptors of Buddhist statues such as Unkei (運慶) and Kaikei (快慶) participate in making Buddha statues.
When you look at the Senju Kannon statue of Sanjusangen-do, it is said that you can meet the Senju Kannon statue with the face of the person you want to meet.



How to access

・From Kyoto Station
 <by Bus>
 Take the Kyoto Bus 100,206,208 and get off at the museum   
 Sanjusangen-do bus stop (博物館三十三間堂前).
 It takes about 20 minutes.
 <by Train>
 Take the JR Nara Line and transfer to the Keihan Line at Tofukuji Sta.  
 Get off at Shichijo Sta.

・From Kyoto Kawaramachi Station
   Walk to Keihan Gion Shijo Station (3 minutes).
 Take the Keihan Main Line to Shichijo Station. 5 minutes on foot.
 It takes about 20 minutes.

・From Osaka
 Take the Keihan Main Line from Nakanoshima or Yodoyabashi Station
 and get off at Shichijo Station.
 It takes about 1 hour.

informationSanjusangen-do (三十三間堂)
address: 657 Sanjusangendomachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
open: 8:00 close: 16:30
      open: 9:00 close: 15:30 (Mid November to late March)

A must-visit place if you travel around Kyoto!

Let’s stay in Kyoto! Click here for the best hotels ⇒ Best Hotels

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