map

Ninnaji Temple

icon-location-red

0.00/5 - (0 Votes)

Attractions Details

📌 Address

33 Omuroōuchi, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8092, Japan

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

JPY 500

Find it on google maps

0.00/5 - (0 Votes)
expert
Wisnu
Local tour guide
"Visit Ninnaji Temple late in the afternoon when the crowds have thinned; you'll have a better chance to appreciate the serenity and might catch a picturesque sunset behind the five-story pagoda. Also, check out the Omuro cherry trees within the temple grounds, which bloom slightly later than others in Kyoto, offering a quieter hanami (cherry blossom viewing) experience."

What is Ninnaji Temple?

Ninnaji Temple is one of the most cherished historical and cultural landmarks nestled in the western outskirts of Kyoto, Japan. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has captivated visitors with its serene beauty, traditional architecture, and religious significance for centuries. It's not just a temple; it's a sprawling complex that includes a variety of sub-temples, gardens, and the famous Goten, the former residence of the head priest which stands out with its elegant design and peaceful surroundings.

Our Most Popular Tour:

All-Inclusive
Mexico City Tepoztlán Tour: Ancient Ruins and Local Charms

There's not many Mexico City activities that let you experience life like a local, but the unforgettable Mexico City Tepoztlán Tour does just that! This privat...

US$229/pp Learn more

The temple is renowned for its Omuro cherry blossoms, late bloomers that grace the temple grounds with a delicate spray of pink in spring, an event locals and tourists eagerly anticipate each year. Walking through the temple grounds feels like a journey back in time, as the rich history and spiritual ambiance envelop you. With seasonal changes, the scenery at Ninnaji Temple transforms, offering a unique experience with each visit.

History of Ninnaji Temple

The illustrious history of Ninnaji Temple dates back to the Heian period, having been founded in the year 888. It was established by the 58th emperor of Japan, Emperor Uda, and was later designated as one of the Monzeki temples, a type of temple where the head priest was traditionally a member of the imperial family. This unique feature adds a layer of imperial prestige to the temple's already rich historical tapestry.

Over the years, Ninnaji has seen its fair share of hardship, including destruction by fire and subsequent rebuilding during the Onin War in the 15th century. Despite such challenges, the temple has stood resilient, with each reconstruction effort reflecting the architectural styles of the period, thus serving as a living museum of Japanese cultural evolution. The temple also houses a collection of important cultural artifacts, some of which are National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties of Japan.

Why is Ninnaji Temple Important?

Ninnaji Temple holds a special place as a symbol of the fusion between imperial authority and Buddhist practice. Its affiliation with the Japanese imperial family elevates its status beyond that of a religious site to a historical monument of national significance. Celebrating over a millennium of history, Ninnaji Temple is a testament to the endurance of Japan's cultural and religious traditions through the ages.

The temple complex also plays a pivotal role in Kyoto's cultural life. Its cherry blossoms are heralded as being among the region's most beautiful and its five-storied pagoda is a hallmark of traditional Japanese architecture. The local community, along with visitors from around the world, find spiritual solace and cultural enrichment within its precincts, marking it as an enduring cornerstone of Kyoto's heritage.

Things to Do & See at Ninnaji Temple

Visiting Ninnaji Temple offers a range of experiences. One can admire the stunning architecture of the Goten, with rooms featuring beautifully painted screen doors, and then stroll through the idyllic Karesansui (rock garden), which epitomizes the Zen aspect of Japanese culture. The temple's five-storied pagoda is not open to the public but is an impressive sight worth seeing from any vantage point within the temple grounds.

Seasonal events such as cherry blossom viewing in spring and the vibrant autumn foliage engagement provide a visual feast for the eyes. When you venture through the orchard of Omuro cherries, the ambience feels almost ethereal. It's also recommended to visit the temple's teahouse where you can enjoy traditional matcha tea and Japanese sweets, immersing yourself in the full cultural experience.

Our Top Trending Vietnam Tours:

  • All-Inclusive

    Hanoi Instagram Tour: The Most Famous Spots

    US$109/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    Trang An Ninh Binh Wonders: Mua Caves, Hoa Lu Citadel & Grottoe Boat Tour

    US$149/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    The Real Hanoi: The Old Quarter Walking Experience

    US$79/pp Learn more

For those interested in the spiritual and historical narrative of Japan, the various sub-temples and the treasure house with its artifacts are a must-see. Each structure and garden in the complex tells a unique story and reflects a distinct aspect of Japanese history and religion. It is a place where the intricate tapestry of Japan's cultural legacy can be closely observed and appreciated.

Frequently asked questions

What is Ninnaji Temple known for?

Ninnaji Temple is known for its historical significance as a UNESCO World Heritage site, its beautiful 5-story pagoda, and its well-preserved architecture from the Heian period. It is also renowned for its late-blooming Omuro cherry trees.

What is the best time of year to visit Ninnaji Temple?

The best time to visit Ninnaji Temple is during the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, especially the Omuro cherries that bloom later than other varieties. Fall is also a great time to experience the autumn foliage.

Can visitors participate in any cultural activities at Ninnaji Temple?

Yes, visitors to Ninnaji Temple can observe traditional Buddhist ceremonies and sometimes participate in cultural activities, such as Zen meditation sessions or calligraphy workshops.

Is there an entrance fee to Ninnaji Temple?

Yes, there is an entrance fee for Ninnaji Temple. The fee may vary depending on which parts of the temple grounds you wish to access, such as the Goten, the temple's former residence of the head priest.

How do I get to Ninnaji Temple?

You can get to Ninnaji Temple by taking the Kyoto city bus or by using the Randen Kitano Line to Omuro-Ninnaji Station. It's a short walk from the station to the temple grounds.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

33 Omuroōuchi, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8092, Japan

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

JPY 500

Find it on google maps