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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Kyoto Sanjusangendo

Sanjusangendo (三十三間堂, Sanjūsangendō) is the popular name for Rengeo-in, a temple in eastern Kyoto which is famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The temple was founded in 1164 and rebuilt a century later after the original structure had been destroyed in a fire.

The temple hall is with 120 meters Japan's longest wooden structure. The name Sanjusangendo (literally "33 intervals") derives from the number of intervals between the building's support columns, a traditional method of measuring the size of a building. In the center of the main hall sits a large, wooden statue of a 1000-armed Kannon (Senju Kannon) that is flanked on each side by 500 statues of human sized 1000-armed Kannon standing in ten rows. Together they make for an awesome sight.

1000-armed Kannon are equipped with 11 heads to better witness the suffering of humans and with 1000 arms to better help them fight the suffering. Note that the actual statues have only 42 arms each. Subtract the two regular arms and multiply by the 25 planes of existence to get the full thousand.
(Adapted from:

You cannot take any photo inside the temple which contains 1001 statues. But I can tell you it is magnificient. I not sure whether is it me, but when you walk down the corridor, you can sense some of the status are looking at you and rest just closed their eyes. I asked my siblings, they also have the same feelings as me. Inside the temple, there are alot of wooden box which you can pray and make donation to. I donated to most of it, using my little brother's coins. *keke* When you walked till one third of the corridor, you can make some donation (Yen100 if I remember correctly) to light a candle for blessing, which I have done. Around half of the corridor, you can also make some donation (Yen1000) for a mega big white candle for wish & blessing. I find it kinda expensive so I skipped. Alternative you can use make some donation (Yen 300) for a wooden stick and you can write your wish on it. The abbots will burnt the wooden stick on your behalf so that the god can bless you.

After you exit the temple and to the 'reception' area, you can donate Yen100 to get a fortune lot. My siblings & I tried our luck. I got the best lot among all. Like what I always say I'm a blessed child and I'm truly thankful for that.

The scenery outside the temple is also very pretty. With all the yellow, orange & red leaves. Pretty willow trees. Everything here is very serene & peaceful. I could even sit at the beach for many hours, reading and relaxing.

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