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Kyoto Hidden Gems: Otagi Nenbutsuji

Location: Arashiyama, Kyoto

Otagi Nenbutsuji is one of Kyoto’s hidden gems. Tucked in a secluded area in the west of Arashiyama, this place is often overlooked by visitors whose focus are on Arashiyama’s known spots. You can easily visit the temple by catching a bus either at the  stop located at the train station or at the stop near Togetsukyo bridge.

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In a first glance, one might think that these are just stone statues covered in moss but on a closer look, there is much more you can see beneath all the moss.

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The temple is famous for its the whimsical 1200 stone statues of rakan, the devoted disciples of Buddhism, wherein each statue display a different facial expression. Many of the expressions are quite cheeky making me smile as I checked out the rows of statues.Kyoto03-28-35It was also interesting to know that these statues were created by amateur sculptors. This was a brainchild of Kocho Nishimura, the head priest of the temple and also a sculptor. These statues were carved by visitors under Nishimura’s guidance hence the uniqueness of each statue.Kyoto03-28-33

Note: Adashino Nenbutsuj is a 10 minutes walk from Otagi Nenbutsuji. Along the way, you will pass by a beautiful street of Saga-Toriimoto.

Directions:

Take “Kyoto Bus” # 64, 74, 84 and 94 bound for “Kiyotaki” and get off at “Otagidera-mae”.

Stops are located at  Hankyu Arashiyama Station, Kyoto Sanjo Sta., JR Kyoto Sta. and from a bus stop called “No no Miya”  near Saga-Arashiyama Station’s south exit.

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1 Comment

  • Reply The Uncategorized Blog - Day Two: Sights in Arashiyama

    […] A hidden gem at Kyoto, see the whimsical 1200 stone statues of rakan, the devoted disciples of Buddhism, wherein each statue display a different facial expression. Check out a bit of its history at my previous post. […]

    October 21, 2016 at 8:43 pm
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