North Saga-Arashiyama Temple Walking Tour

Date 6 Feb 2021 (Completed. Past tour video is available)
Time 11:00 – 11:45 JST
Tour Highlights
  • Explore the North Arashiyama area with hidden gems including Otagi Nenbutsuji, Gioji and other neighborhood temples.
  • Learn about the different Bodhisattvas featured in the temple and fascinating Buddhist history and elements.
  • Spend time discovering the interesting features of the Rakan statues.
  • Q & A

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$5.00

Meet unique stone Buddhas in North Sagano-Arashiyama, Kyoto!

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji temple is one hidden gem in Kyoto that not many people know about. Located in the outskirts of Arashiyama, this Buddhist temple features of 1200 unique and whimsical Rakan statues, which are representations of the followers of Buddha who have reached Nirvana,

The temple was built as early as 770 and has been known as a temple that drives away evil spirits. Unfortunately, it has experienced various natural disasters that it was moved and rebuilt a number of times.

In 1955, Kocho Nishimura took over the temple as the chief priest. He was a sculptor who came up with the idea of letting visitors carve their own statues under his guidance. Since then, Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple became known as the temple with 1,200 rakan figures. Each rakan is quite unique as it is reflected by each sculptor’s wish and emotion. You may find one with a tennis racket, another with an old portable cassette player as well as two figures enjoying sake.

Tour Highlights
  • Explore the North Arashiyama area with hidden gems including Otagi Nenbutsuji, Gioji and other neighborhood temples.
  • Learn about the different Bodhisattvas featured in the temple and fascinating Buddhist history and elements.
  • Spend time discovering the interesting features of the Rakan statues.
  • Q & A