Autumn

The Renge-ji Temple in Kyoto : Beautiful view of Autumn Leaves

Miwa

Writer

The Renge-ji Temple stands quietly in a rural area. If you are tired of the crowds in downtown Kyoto, it is the best place to have a relaxing time.

Outline:

It belongs to the Tedai Sect(天台宗), one of the Zen Buddhism. It was built in 1662 by Imaeda Chikayoshi(今枝近義), a samurai warrior. After retiring, he became a Buddhist monk, named Soji Koji(宗二居士), and lived in this temple. He made a close relationship with some intellectuals such as Ishikawa Jozan(石川丈山) who is famous for the gardener as well as an expert of literature, calligraphy and tea ceremony, and also Kano Tanyu(狩野探幽), a painter of the Kano school. This temple was built with their cooperation, Imaeda Chikayoshi enjoyed an elegant and idyllic life as an intellectual who had a profound knowledge of poetry, painting and tea ceremony.

What to see:

The Sanmon gate (山門): Entering the Sanmon gate, you can see a cobbled path to the building. There are about 300 stone Buddha statues which were unearthed from the Kamo river(鴨川) vicinity and relocated for memorial service.

The Shoin or a study

The sliding doors are opened to the east, and you can enjoy a beautiful Japanese garden. The garden of this temple is small sized and it was formed aiming for the view from the Shoin. On the right you can see the Hondo(本堂) or main hall. The Shaka Nyorai(釈迦如来), Buddha statue is dedicated inside the Hondo, which was made in China in the14th century. You will see two stone garden lanterns standing in front of the Hondo, which have unique design. It is said that many experts of tea ceremony loved them and enjoyed having tea ceremonies in the garden.

The garden

It is the style of the Jodo(浄土) or Pure Land sect. In the Jodo sect, the pure land is located far across the sea in further west, which the Amida Nyorai(阿弥陀如来) lives. People pray to go to the pure land after death. The garden expresses this idea.
A stone called “sailing boat stone” is placed on one side of the pond and it is about to sail for the other side of the pond where the pure land is located.

 

Other season of the Renge-ji Temple:

This temple is also famous for beautiful fresh green leaves of maple trees. What beautiful green leaves receiving the light of sun shine!!

 

Access:

From the JR Kyoto st.

Take the Kyoto Bus No. 17, or No.18 (operated only on Saturday and Sunday) and get off at Kanbashi(上橋). About 45 mins

From the subway Karasuma line, Kyoto Kokusai Kikan st.

Take the Kyoto Bus No. 19, and get off at Kanbashi(上橋). About 5 mins
*The Renge-ji Temple is near Kanbashi bus stop (1 min)
From the Eizan railway(叡山電鉄), Miyake Hachiman (三宅八幡)st.:A 10 minute walk

Other sightseeing places:

The Ohara(大原) area

The Kyoto Bus No. 17 and No.18 go to the Ohara which has beautiful rural scenery. There are many old and quiet temples such as the Sanzen-in Temple(三千院) and the Jakko-in Temple(寂光院). And also you can find many Japanese pickles shops and enjoy the experience of traditional dyeing.

The Kifune Jinja Shrine (貴船神社) and the Kurama-dera Temple(鞍馬寺)

Miyake Hachiman st. is on the way to the Kibune and Kurama area. You can enjoy hiking between the Kibune and Kurama, and also there is a very good hot spring(public bath), the Kurama Onsen(鞍馬温泉).

 

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Miwa

I'm an English speaking tour guide in Kyoto. You can enjoy a variety of events in each region throughout a year. I hope to see you soon.

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