Ninna-ji, Japan’s ancient Buddhist temple|Photos and brief history【World Heritage】

(4, May, 2022)

We visited Ninna-ji temple the other day.
It was such a beautiful historical temple, and it’s a World Heritage.

This article describes Ninna-ji temple, ancient Japan’s Buddhist temple, founded in 888 AD. Recently I have been to Kyoto and visited there for the first time.

You can briefly look at its beautiful sights and architecture as well as history.

Oficial Website:

・Access to Ninna-ji

You can see Google map below to know the location of Ninna-ji.

Address: 33, Omuro-ohuchi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 616-8092

From JR Kyoto station, it takes just around 40 minutes to get there by railway;
・In Kyoto station, you change to JR Sanin Honsen Line(or Sanin Main Line), to get off at Uzumasa st.
・Then you walk just 5 minutes from Uzumasa st. to Satsueisho-mae st., taking Randen Kitano Line.
・Get off at Omuro-Ninna-ji st., walk straight, then you see the solemn entrance gate of Ninna-ji. Feel its dignity.

Kongo Rikishi statues are guarding the entrance of this sacred temple.

・Opening hours and fees|Ninna-ji

Be careful with seasonal different opening hours.

March to November 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
December to February 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

Entrance fees are required depending on the areas you visit.
Adults entrance fees

Goten (Palace & Gardens) JPY 500.
Reiho-kan Museum *** JPY 500.

and others.

***Entrance to Reiho-kan Museum is limited from April to May and October to November only.

Many national treasures are exhibited in Reiho-kan Museum; Buddha statues, Shodo calligraphy, Buddhist art, symbolic items and so on. You must go and check.


Here are photos of Ninna-ji to know what you can see there.

Nioh-mon gate

Magnificent entrance gate of Ninna-ji is called ”Nioh-mon”. In Ninna-ji, sometimes live performance or events are taken place. In 2007, Japanese artist Garnet Crow held Special Live in Ninna-ji.

Image from DVD: Garnet Crow Special Live in 仁和寺

Chu-mon Gate

In front of Chu-mon Gate, which means Central gate, ”Tamonten” and ”Jikokuten” statues are standing.

These statues are to be renewed by a Japanese famous Buddhist sculptor, Gizan Katoh. I will repeat visit Ninna-ji once it is renewed by him.
Following image is his masterpiece, ”Jigen”.

Gizan Katoh, visiting Ninna-ji Chu-mon

Photo from 情熱大陸 (MBS)

Gizan Katoh’s website:

Japanese Gardens

As you enter the Chu-mon gate, you will see garden where you can feel green and nature.

Japanese garden with simplicity. In mid April, you will see beautiful Sakura trees, cherry blossoms.

・Reiho-kan Museum

Ninna-ji possesses a lot of national treasure, which is displayed in Reiho-kan Museum. The museum displays historical Buddha statues since its foundation, so you must pay and pray. No photography is allowed.
The main Buddha statue, ”Amidanyorai”, whose history is as long as the temple’s foundation, sits here, welcoming your visit.

・Brief History of Ninna-ji

Buddhism itself was imported from Korea to Japan in 538 AD. And Ninna-ji, ancient Japan’s Buddhist temple, was founded in 888 AD. Its history is lasting more than 1 thousand years. Japan’s Emperor family is deeply related historically to its foundation and so Ninna-ji possesses a lot of national treasure as well as beautiful architecture and gardens. In those long years, the temples are repeatedly damaged and rebuilt. However, it still keeps original beauty and dignity. In 1994, Ninna-ji was listed on World Heritage.

・Goshuin by Ninna-ji

After you pray to Buddha, you can get Goshuin like above. Calligraphy is important for Buddhists to record Buddha’s lessons as scripture for next generation. Goshuin of Ninna-ji describes ”Amidanyorai”, which is the name of the temple’s main Buddha statue.

You must visit there.
It’s the best temple I’ve ever visited.


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