Shoren-in Temple

Shoren-in Temple © Iry

Shoren-in Temple Night special admission

Shorenin is a temple of the Tendai sect of Japanese Buddhism. It is one of the city's monzeki temples, whose head priests were traditionally members of the imperial family. They served as head priest of the temple from Heian Period (794-1185) to Meiji Period (1868-1912). Saicho, the founder of Tendai sect acted as a head priest Hieisanen Ryakuji Temple which was a precursor of Shoren. The temple, imitating the Imperial Palace in Kyoto was erected by the Monk Gyogen during the Heian Period. After the fire in 1788 that destroyed the Imperial Palace, Emperor Gosakuramachi was forced to use the temple as temporary living quarters, the temple was known as Awata Palace during that time.
The main deity is a hidden image of Shijyo Konyorai Mandala (Buddhist Painting). In the eastern part, you can see Shijoko Nyorai image and pictures of Fudo Myojin (god of wisdom). Shoren-ji Temple keeps the painting of Fudo Myojin (National Treasure). The image of Fudo Mojin is made in five colors: blue, yellow, red, white and black. 
Additionally, Kachoden Reception Hall hosts the pictures of lotus by the artist Kimura Hideki. To the east of Kachoden, there is Kirishima Garden, made by Kobori Enshu; in May it becomes red with azalea flowers. The main garden is a Japanese style garden, created by the Muromachi Period (1336-1573) master So Ami. Near the gates, there is a Japanese camphor tree, designated as Important Natural Monument.

Shogunzuka hill

In spring and autumn, the premises of the temple are lit up and the night admission is conducted. The temple drowns in the blue lights which is a magnificent view. The main deity and Fudo Myojin are also lit up and it looks as if they are engulfed in flames. The garden, lit up by 1000 lamps is a must-see sight in the temple. The bamboo forest near the garden is also illuminated fantastically.


Get off at Shingu Michi on Kyoto bus line. 5 minutes from Higashiyama Station on Tozai Line. 10 minutes from Maruyama Park, you can also drop by the neighboring Chionin Temple.

Image Gallery: Shoren-in Temple

Description: Shoren-in Temple

Sights Shoren-in Temple (青蓮院門跡)
Address Kyoto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Awadaguchi, Sanjo-bocho
Phone / Fax Phone: 075-561-2345
Duration 2Hour(s)
Business Hours Monday:09:00-17:00 (Last entry by: 16:30)
Tuesday:09:00-17:00 (Last entry by: 16:30)
Wednesday:09:00-17:00 (Last entry by: 16:30)
Thursday:09:00-17:00 (Last entry by: 16:30)
Friday:09:00-17:00 (Last entry by: 16:30)
Saturday:09:00-17:00 (Last entry by: 16:30)
Sunday:09:00-17:00 (Last entry by: 16:30)
Admission Fee Pay admission: 500yen
Recommended Season
Spring (March - May)
Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
Recommended target Family Couples Groups Infant & Toddler (ages 0-6) Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller

Map: Shoren-in Temple