日本 (Japan)

Kyoto: Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂)

Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂)Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂)Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂)Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂)Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂)Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂)Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂)

It was a long and quiet walk. Perhaps forbidding photo-taking in the long main hall and requesting that visitors take off their shoes before entering the main hall heightens the sense of reverence and spirituality; I felt exceptionally at peace.

What was it about the 1001 Kannon (観音/Goddess of Mercy) statues that makes me remember how much I liked the Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂)?

Aside from the perfect workmanship, I guess the fact that most of these statues were constructed in the 13th century (and some of them rescued from the fire in the original temple in 1249) captured my heart. There’s something 不思議 (fushigi / mysterious) about artefacts that have withstood the test of time—something that cannot be reproduced, no matter how flawless the craftsmanship of a modern work is.

Getting There

Sanjusangendo is a 10-minute bus ride (220 yen) from Kyoto station. Take bus number 100, 206 or 208 and alight at the Hakubutsukan-Sanjusangendo-mae (mae/前 means before or in front of) bus stop. It’s also a 5-minute walk from Shichijo Station (Keihan Line) and a 20-minute walk from Kyoto Station.