Bishamondo Temple

Bishamondo Temple © Iry

What is Bishamondo Temple

Bishamondo Temple is one of the Gokashitsumonzekijiin (Special temple serving royalty and nobles) of the Tendai sect.  It is named Bishamondo Temple because it is said to enshrine one of the Seven Lucky Gods, Bishamonten.  It was originally founded in the year 703 by a monk, Kyoki, by the orders of Emperor Monmu.  At that time, it was located north of the Kyoto Imperial Palace in Izumoji, and it was named Gohozan Izumo-ji Temple.  The temple declined after war but during the Edo period (1603-1868), due to the efforts of Tenkai, a Tendai sect monk with strong ties to Tokugawa Ieyasu Shogun, reconstruction began and the location was moved to Yamashina.  After Tenkai, his son, Kokai took over and completed reconstruction with the completion of the Hondo Main Hall.

The sixth child of Emperor Gosai, Kobenhosshinno, received his Jyukai (Being ordained as a Buddhist priest by receiving the commandments of Buddhism) here and lived a secluded life here after becoming a priest.  Since then, it has become a Monseki-jiin (Temple serving royalty and nobles) and is referred to as Bishamondo Monseki.The Bishamonten Buddha statue was said to have been created by Saicho, founder of the Tendai sect, from the surplus carving materials from the Buddha in the main hall.  Bishamondo Temple is known for having divine favor for prosperous business and safety in the home.  Every year, on a specific day in January, Fukuzasa (Handmade items of many sizes tied to bamboo branches) is presented.  The buildings on the temple grounds incorporate landscape scenery specific to the modern period of Monseki-jiin Temple.  Many worshipers visit during the cherry blossom or fall foliage seasons.


20 minute walk from Yamashina Station on the JR Kyoto Line or subway.  20 minute walk from the Keihan Yamashina Station on the Keihan Railway.

Image Gallery: Bishamondo Temple

Description: Bishamondo Temple

Sights Bishamondo Temple (毘沙門堂)
Address Kyoto, Yamashina-ku, Anshu Inariyama-cho 18
Phone / Fax Phone: 075-581-0328 / Fax: 075-581-0328
Duration 30Minutes
Business Hours Monday:08:30-17:00
Closed dates 7 days open
Admission Fee Pay admission: 500yen
Recommended Season
Spring (March - May)
Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
Recommended target Family Couples Groups Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller

Map: Bishamondo Temple