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仁和寺 Ninna-ji Temple

  • Temples / Shrines / Cathedrals
  • Arashiyama / Kinkaku-ji Temple Area
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Arashiyama / Kinkaku-ji Temple Area
33, Omuro Ouchi, Ukyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 616-8092, Japan
  • Temples / Shrines / Cathedrals
Opening Hours
[Mar-Nov]9:00-17:00 (Reception closing 16:30), [Dec-Feb]9:00-16:30 (Reception closing 16:00)
Open Every Day
Date of post:2016/03/08

【Cherry Blossom Season (Limited Edition)】Dwarf cherry blossom trees with elegant beauty

  • Cherry Blossom Viewing

Even if you miss the blooming season of ordinary cherry blossom trees, you still have a chance to enjoy cherry blossoms at Omuro. Omuro is the name of the area in which Ninna-ji situates and also used to indicate the temple itself. Therefore, when we mention the cherry blossom trees of Omuro, they mean the cherry blossom trees in Ninna-ji. The cherry blossom trees there bloom about 3 weeks later than ordinary ones. You can enjoy cherry blossoms later in the season. The cherry blossom trees there are also famous to be short. Their height is about 2 meters and they don’t grow higher.

In order to visit there, you can take the Kitano Line tram of the Keifuku Electric Railroad. The nearest station is Omuro Ninna-ji station. It takes a few minutes from the station to the temple. Unfortunately, during the blooming season, you have to pay JPY 500 per person to enter the place. After entering, you will find a small forest of many kinds of cherry blossom trees on the left hand side of the approach.

If you check each tree, you will find that the flowers of a tree are quite different from the ones of other trees. Popular Somei Yosino cherry flowers have a flamboyant atmosphere, but cherry blossom flowers here have elegance. Besides the forest, there are other cherry trees here and there in the temple. Some of them are double cherry blossoms and some have flowers that change colors.

After appreciating many flowers, you can walk to famous Ryoan-ji, which has a garden with sands and rocks. You can admire the nothingness of the garden compared to the brilliance of the cherry blossoms.

Date of post:2015/04/23

A temple build by an emperor and famous for its special cherry blossoms

  • Temple / Shrine
  • Special Recommendations

Grandeur! Elegant! Magnificent!
I don’t know why I have been attracted to this temple so much, but this is my most favorite place in Kyoto!

The original temple was founded in the 9th century, and named after the name of the calendar era Ninna. The temple was completed by Emperor Uda and he himself became the abbot of this newly temple after taking the monk’s vow. Since then the temple was known as the Omuro Imperial Palace, and the practice of having an emperor’s son serve as the abbot continued until 1869.

Today Ninna-ji is headquarters of Omuro school of Shingon Sect of Japanese Buddhism.

During the Onin War in the latter half of the 15th century, this temple was largely destroyed by fire. Most of the present structures were rebuilt in the 17th century with the patronage of the Tokugawa shogunate.

This temple has a huge gate, a beautiful palace, five-storied pagoda and several temple buildings. It is also famous for its cherry blossoms of special kind - short and late - blooming one called Omuro-zakura. (Best viewing season varies along with the climate: around the middle of April)

The palace area is open to the public throughout the year for ¥500(JPY). What I like most is this area. Elegant, sophisticated and elaborate works are observed in every corner of the buildings. All rooms are connected by corridors and surrounded by beautiful gardens. While walking along corridors, I sometimes feel like floating in a garden.

Gardens are also elegant, well-tended and arranged to give me some peace in mind. You can enjoy this garden all year round.

As not so many school children and big groups come here (except during the cherry blossom season), you can enjoy being there as much as you like.

Once I was luckily able to go inside the five-storied pagoda and Kondo hall (these are usually not open to the public). The Kondo hall used to be the Hall for State Ceremonies of Imperial Palace and relocated here in the 17th century. Today it is used as the main hall of this temple and statues of Amida triad are located. This building is the remaining oldest structure of the Hall for State Ceremonies, and registered as a National Treasure of Japan.

The whole temple is designated as one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto.

*Reference: Ninnaji home page and its English pamphlet

  • * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
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