Eikan-do Temple, formally known as Zenrin-ji is located just north of Nanzen-ji Temple in Higashiyama, Kyoto. Eikan-do is the head temple of “Jodo-shu Seizan Zenrin-ji sect”. The temple has more than 1,100 years of history and is dedicated to “Amida” ( the principal buddha in Pure Land Buddhism). The temple is also well-known as “Eikan-do in Maple Leaves”, because of its beautiful garden filled with many maple trees. In late November, many people visit the temple to worship the Amida and enjoy the scenery, the autumn colour evening illuminations. The temple has a long history, and there are a variety of buildings and a pond garden that visitors can explore.
Eikan-do’s main buildings are built on the slope and are connected by wooden corridors. The first building that visitors enter is the Shaka-do (Hall of the historical Buddha) with a small rock garden and beautifully painted sliding doors. Walking through the corridors, visitors also pass by the Mie-do which enshrines the Jodo sect’s founder Honen and the Amida-do (Amida Hall) which houses the temple’s principal object of worship, the Mikaeri-Amida, the statue facing his left shoulder .
The Tahoto Pagoda is on the hillside above the temple’s other buildings. Visitors can walk up to the pagoda, from where the rest of the temple grounds and the city of Kyoto can be seen.
With their abundance of autumn colors, the temple grounds of Eikando are Kyoto’s most popular autumn leaves viewing spots.
Autumn : Check the event schedule
The tree colors of autumn are so prominent in Eikan-do Temple. There are some three thousand maples on the grounds, which are lit up at night in fall. The temple grounds are on a mountain slope, and one never tires of the expansive premises that can be enjoyed, going up and down the walkways.