Nison-In Temple(二尊院)

Nison-in Temple is a 20-minute walk from Arashiyama’s symbol Togetsukeyo. The approach to the fall foliage is also called the “Autumn Leaves Baba”. It seems that this temple was named “Nison-in” because it has two statues of “kannon-Nyorai” and “Amida-Nyorai”.

①Beautiful Nison-in Temple landscape!

②History of Nison-in Temple

How to get to Nison-in Temple

It’s easy to get crowded at any time, so it’s recommended to go by train

When going to Nison-in Temple by train

①JR Kyoto Station ➡ JR Sagamino Line “Saga Arashiyama” Station ➡ About 20 minuets on foot.

Total about  35 minuets / Cost 240yen (Child:120 yen)

When going to Nison-in Temple by bus

①JR Kyoto Station(Bus stop:D3) ➡ Saga Shakado-mae bus stop➡ about 10minuets on foot.

・No 28 :Daikakuji Temple Via Arasshiyama (Kyoto City bus)

Total about 1 hour/ Cost 230yen (Child:120 yen)

 

Things of the glamour of Nison-in Temple

①Beautiful Nison-in Temple landscape.

Many shrines and maples are planted in the precincts of Nison-in Temple. In autumn, you  can enjoy beautiful autumn leaves in the precincts. In particular, the autumn leaves of the approach that has the alias “Momiji-no Baba” is wonderful. Maple and cherry tree are planted alternately in this “Momiji-no Baba”, so you can see cherry blossoms and spring Maples in the spring. Also known as the place used for the promotion of JR Tokai in 2012.  The color of the autumn leaves of Nison-in Temple begins in early November. And the best time of year is from late november to early December. It is also recommended to visit in early December when you can see scattered maples(Chiri Momiji).

In summer, “Aomomiji(blue autumn leaves shine)” beautifully. “Aomomiji” is maple leaves that have not yet fallen. The best time to see the blue maple is from early May to early June. It is still blue and beautiful in July and August, and the season goes on, the green is getting darker.

 

②History of Nison-in Temple

Two Buddha statutes are enshrined in Nison-in Temple. The one of them is “Shakanyorai”, which sends people who want to go to Paradise from this world. The other is “Amidanyorai”, which welcome people who arrive Higan. Higan is a Buddhist world and means the world of enlightenment. These two statutes are called “Kengounison” and it is the origin of name “Nison-in”.

The statue of “Kengounison” is said to have beenmade by “Kasuga Busshi (Craftsman who makes Buddha statue)” in the middle of the Kamakura period, and is enshrined in the center of the main hall. It seems that the “Shakanyorai” statue on the right and the “Amidanyorai” statue on the left stand to watch the grounds.

Nison-in Temple has an interenteig history. It is the birthplace of “Ogura An(Ogura sweet bean-paste)” which is indispensable for Japanese sweet. Arounf 809year, Kukai brought back red bean seeds from China and cultivated it at Mt.Ogura behind the main hall of Nison-in Temple. Around 820year, confectioner Wasaburo used the red beans, mixed with sugar and cooked. And “Ogura An(Ogura sweet bean-paste)” was born.  Currently, it is a very popular “Ogura An(Ogura sweet bean-paste)” ingredient for Japanese sweets.

There are various kinds of sweet bean-paste, depending on the difference in raw materials and manufacturing methods, but “Ogura An(Ogura sweet bean-paste)” is a mashed sweet bean-paste and large beans boiled with honey. Recently, Ogutra An is sometimes referred to as coarse sweet bean paste.

Hounenshonin-Rou

There is a Hounenshonin-Rou just after a long stone step from the bell tower. the Honenshonin was built in 1233 to enshrine the remains of the disciple, Taknku, from Komyo-ji to Nison-in Temple. Looking up from the bottom of the stone steps, the Hounenshonin-Rou and the arch of autumn leaves are very beautiful ,and it is also a highlight of the autumn leaves of Nison-in Temple.

My recommendation!

At the entrance of Nison-in temple, there is a cafe called “Shikian”, famous for Japanese sweets “Yatsuhashi” in Kyoto. After enjoying the autumn leaves on the grounds of Nison-in Temple, why not take a rest at this cafe? There is a set of Japanese sweets and matcha, a set pf Zenzai, and a set of chilled Zenzai. In Kyoto Arashiyama in late autumn, the air is dry and the wind is cold, so please waem yourself with this cafe.

Nison-ji Temple entrance fee

Entrance fee

Adult 500 yen / Under 6year old is free

Entrance time

9:00am 〜 16:30pm

Map

Conclusion

In Nison-in Temple, several events are held throughout the year. One the day of Setsubun on February 3rd, there will be a Setsubunkai where Amazake and Fukuzu will be served.

On April 8th, there will be an event called “Hana Matsuri” where the main hall outside the party will sing Buddha and apply “Amacya(sweet tea)”. Please drop in when you visit!

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