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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Eikando (Zenrinji Temple) 永観堂(禅林寺)

Kyoto's best autumn display, and an unusual take on Buddha

Eikando is a temple especially famous for brilliant foliage in the fall, made more magical by its evening illumination. This period draws huge crowds, but visit at any other time of year and you'll have the place to yourself, free to explore the grounds.

The temple is located just south of the Philosopher's Path in central Higashiyama. Its grounds are expansive, with many buildings connected by covered walkways.

Quick Facts

Eikando was a gift from a court noble in the Heian period (794-1185) to a Buddhist priest

Eikando is also known by three other names: Zenrin-ji, Shoju-raigo-san, and Muryosu-in

How to Get There

Eikando is easily accessed from JR Kyoto Station by train and a short walk.

From JR Kyoto Station, take the Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line to Karasuma Oike Station. Transfer there to the Tozai Subway Line going toward Rokujizo to Keage Station. It's a 15-minute walk from there.

A court noble's former villa

Eikando feels like an old villa, and was once exactly that, having belonged to a nobleman who gave it to a Buddhist priest in 853. The worldly pursuits of leisure and natural beauty took on a spiritual dimension as the villa was adapted to its new purpose.

An unusual pose for Buddha

Eikando is filled with various works of art, the most notable of which is a statue of the Amida Buddha with his head turned to one side rather than facing forward as he is usually portrayed. Legend has it that a head monk was performing a ritual for the statue when it turned to face him and spoke to him.

Climb to a pagoda with a view

Taho-to Pagoda is located up a steep flight of stairs above the temple complex, and offers a great view of the city below.

One highlight of Eikando is Hojo Pond, which is surrounded by a scenic garden. In the middle of the pond is a small island with a quaint shrine built on it.

A leisurely visit to Eikando will take an hour or two. You can easily stay longer, though, especially if you enjoy the aesthetic elements of Buddhism.

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