Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple, Kyoto

The temple of 1,200 rakan, the disciples of Buddha

By Yasuhiro Mori   Jan 28, 2015 - 1 min read

Located in Ukyo Ward of Kyoto City, Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple silently sits in the woods of Sagano area. The principal image of this temple is Senju Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy with 1,000 hands). People call this temple The Temple of 1,200 Rakan (the stone statues of Buddha's disciples). It is also known as a starting point for exploring Sagano, as it is located at the foot of the Mount Otagi where a hiking trail begins.

There are temples that have 500 Rakan statues,  but none that have as many as the 1,200 Rakan statues you can see in this temple. If you visit here, the 1,200 Rakan statues sitting among the trees will welcome and entertain you with various faces.

Probably because it's not well-known by tourists, at the height of the autumn season there was almost nobody inside the temple. I could enjoy the tranquility by myself, and so you can if you visit this temple with 1,200 Rakan statues!

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Takako Sakamoto

Takako Sakamoto @Takako Sakamoto

I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.  

Original by Yasuhiro Mori