Local map

Places of interest in the vicinity

Sanzen-in Temple in Ohara

The primary place of interest in Ohara must be Sanzen-in, a Tendai Buddhism monzeki (see note below) temple. Its gardens and a small hall called Ojogokuraku-in as well as the three Buddhist images in the hall are very much worth to see. Though these are not the only things to see. Do not miss minor items like small Buddhist images in the moss garden.

NOTE: Monzeki is a temple of which the head priests has always been a member of the imperial family or of the nobility.

They opened a exhibition hall in October 2006 where you can see a richly colored reproduction of wall paintings of Ojogokuraku-in.

History of Sanzen-in

The following is a simplified explanation of the complicated history of Sanzen-in.

Denkyo-daishi Saicho (767-822), the founder of Hiei-zan Enryaku-ji, built a small hall called En'nyu-bo in Todo of Enryaku-ji in the year 788. This is said to be the origin of Sanzen-in.

Sanzen-in became a monzeki temple in 1130 when the second son of Emperor Horikawa became the 14th head priest. While a nun called Shin'nyobo-ni founded Jogyozanmai-do (present day Ojogokuraku-in) in Ohara in 1148. This temple was incorporated into Sanzen-in in Tenmon era (1532-1555).

In the mid 12th century, many invocation-chanting-monks lived in Ohara and the monzeki temple set up mandokoro to govern them. This governing body eventually became the present day Sanzen-in. The temple moved in to mandokoro, the present site, in 1871 after changed its site several times. The name was changed to Sanzen-in at that time. Ojogokuraku-in had been separated from Sanzen-in for a while but incorporated into Sanzen-in again when the temple moved in.

How to get to Sanzen-in

One hour by Kyoto Bus No. 17 from Kyoto Station to Ohara Bus Stop, then 10 minutes on foot.

Hours and Admission

8:30-17:00 (8:30-16:30 from December to February)

700 yen


Click a photo to see a larger image.

Yusei-en garden and Ojogokuraku-in hall
Yusei-en garden and Ojogokuraku-in hall looked from Shinden Building.
August 23, 2007
Sanmon gate The entrance hall of Sanzen-in Shuheki-en garden
Sanmon gate of Sanzen-in
August 23, 2007
The entrance hall of Sanzen-in.
August 23, 2007
Shuheki-en garden in front of Kyakuden building.
September 29, 2002
Yusei-en and Ojogokuraku-in Shinden Building Ojogokuraku-in Looked from Shinden
Yusei-en garden and Ojogokuraku-in looked from Shinden building. Ojogokuraku-in was built in the year 1148 and received major repair in 1616.
May 5, 2006
Shinden Building that was built in 1926.
August 23, 2007
Ojogokuraku-in Looked from a tatami room of Shinden Building.
August 23, 2007
Ojogokuraku-in in autumn Right-front view of Ojogokuraku-in A stone Buddhist image
Ojogokuraku-in. The ceiling of the building is shaped like an upside-down bottom of a boat so as to accommodate a big Buddhist image in this rather small building. The ceiling and walls of the building was painted colorfully but are now stained by smoke of incenses and candles so that the paintings are barely seen.
November 16, 2001
Right-front view of Ojogokuraku-in. Three Buddhist images, that are national treasures, sit in the hall.
November 28, 2000
A stone Buddhist image stands in between Shinden building and Ojogokuraku-in
September 27, 2002
A stone in a pond Ishidoro A couple of small Jizo Buddhist images
A stone in a pond beside Ojogokuraku-in.
August 23, 2007
Ishidoro, or stone lantern in the moss covered garden in front of Ojogokuraku-in
August 23, 2007
A couple of small Jizo Buddhist images.
August 23, 2007
A small Jizo Suzaku-mon Suzaku-mon gate looked from outside
A small Jizo stands between large cedar trees.
August 23, 2007
Suzaku-mon. This used be the main gate of Ojogokuraku-in before it was absorbed by Sanzen-in.
August 23, 2007
Suzaku-mon gate looked from outside.
August 23, 2007
Konjikifudo-do hall Kan'non-do hall Sho-Kan'non-zo
Konjikifudo-do hall that was built in 1989.
August 23, 2007
Kan'non-do hall.
August 23, 2007
Sho-Kan'non-zo, miniature Kan'non images.
August 23, 2007
Benzaiten A stone Buddhist image Karesansui (dry landscape) garden
A bronze image of Benzaiten.
May 5, 2006
A stone Buddhist image in the precinct of Sanzen-in
September 29, 2002
Karesansui (dry landscape) garden
August 23, 2007