Hyakusaiji Temple 百済寺
The temple of a hundred colors, with a giant's sandals at the gate
Hyakusaiji Temple's name can be read "temple of a hundred colors," and you'll see why.
- The famous gigantic sandals
- Tenka-Enbo-Meien garden
How to Get There
You can get to the temple by train and then by taxi, or use a special shuttle bus in November.
To reach Hyakusaiji, take a 20-minute taxi from Yokaichi Station on the Omi Tetsudo Line. You can access the Omi Tetsudo Line from Maibara on the Tokaido Shinkansen. The Omi Tetsudo Line also connects to the JR Biwako Line at Omi Hachiman and Hikone stations.
During peak leaf season in November, the Koto Sanzan Shuttle Bus runs between three temples and Hikone and Yokaichi stations on the Omi Tetsudo Line. You can start the tour at either Hikone or Yokaichi station.
Shiga's oldest temple blazes with color
Founded in 609, Hyakusaiji is the oldest of Shiga's three famous Koto Sanzan temples, and one of the oldest temples in all Japan. The Koto Sanzan are Hyakusaiji, Saimyoji , and Kongorinji temples, which sit atop three mountains on the eastern side of Lake Biwa . They belong to the Tendai sect of Buddhism.
The magnificent fall foliage
Like the other Koto Sanzan temples, Hyakusaiji is probably best known for its magnificent fall foliage, especially around the water garden. It's one of the official 100 best spots to view the autumn leaves, and the temple takes it a step further with a "light up" at night.
One thing you won't see anywhere else is the pair of massive straw sandals on the Niomon Gate.
The main hall
The temple grounds are designated as National Historic Ruins, and the main hall is an Important Cultural Property.