Kinpusenji Temple
Kinpusenji Temple
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles276 reviews
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FengXueSG
Singapore, Singapore1,608 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019 • Family
There are probably only two feasible ways to get here: either drive up the mountain in a one-line-two-way zig zag road, or take Kintetsu line to Yoshino station then hire a cab. Either way is an effort. You can skip the cab part and walk to the temple but it is a 30min straight up climb --more effort.

But the 7th century temple has the second largest wooden structure, the Zaodo, in Japan after the Great Buddha Hall at Todai-ji.

Parking option looks limited in Yoshino. There is a car park onwned by a shop before you reach the Y-junction in front of the temple. It is probably the best spot to park your car. I visited in a weekday afternoon, literally only 5 visitors including three of us. No one from the shop really came out when I parked my car. But I could image during cherry blossoms season, you may not be allowed to park there.
Written 28 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chuzaa
Vancouver, Canada3,485 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
We only visited the Zao-do Hall and a few smaller temples this time, not the entire Kinpusen-ji Temple complex.

The Zao-do Hall is the main and largest building among the many temple buildings that make up the Kinpusen-ji Temple complex in the Yoshino Mountain region.

The huge wooden hall is where the main deity of the Shugendo Sect is enshrined in the Kinpusen-ji Temple. This deity, the Zao Gongen, is a uniquely Japanese “Buddha” and has no roots in India. Its formal name is “Kongo Zao Gongen.” The founder of the Shugendo Sect is En-no-Ozunu (634-701).

The current building was completed in 1592 and is said to be the second largest wooden building (Height 34 meters, Width 36 m, Depth 36 meters) in Japan only after the Todai-ji Temple in Nara. It is a single-storied building, even though it has an appearance of a two-storied building. Within the building is a huge zushi “case” in which three wooden images of Zao Gongen are kept. These colourful, powerful and impressive images are usually hidden, but they are occasionally made available for viewing with a fee. Check the temple’s web site about a possible viewing opportunity beforehand.
Written 2 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hfot2 🌸🍁🌸
Vermont7,552 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Couples
Kinpusenji, the main temple in Yoshino, is described as the second largest wooden structure in Japan, after Todaiji in Nara. 2014 was the 10th anniversary of its being granted Unesco World Heritage designation.

There is no photography allowed inside the main hall and since we were visiting Yoshino to see sakura and not temples per se, we did not pay to enter the fantastically large main hall - ¥500.
We did photo the Niomon - the massive wooden gate with its guardian statues. It was difficult to get a good angle to take a photo of the gate - the whole building was swathed in fabric for reconstruction.

At the back of the temple there was a grand sight of a large pagoda surrounded by lovely sakura in fulll bloom with many many photographers clicking away. Just beyond it, there is a long flight of stairs one can descend to get another photo angle on the temple and pagoda.

The grounds were particularly beautiful in sakura season and probably in koyo season as well. Unfortunately, everyone in Japan seemed to be visiting Yoshino the same day we were there at the beginning of the second week in April.
Written 9 February 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michiko T
Demarest, NJ2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013 • Family
This temple is majestic and historic on a grand scale. I did not expect to find such a beautiful temple in such a rural part of Nara. I strongly recommend that everyone visits this site, especially in the spring.
Written 3 August 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stefan B
Canton of Zurich, Switzerland4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Couples
Not overcrowded as similarly beautiful temples. Very beautiful setting, worth every step up the hill.
Written 15 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kimitaka S
Taichung, Taiwan15,202 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016
Yoshino is famous for cherry blossom viewing. My wife and I went to Yoshino just for this reason. Kinpusenji is the first temple and maybe the biggest temple that you meet when you walk Yoshino after getting off the ropeway. Thinking of the fact that it is in a mountain, the building of temple is amazingly big.
Written 29 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BryanBaier
Osaka, Japan120 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Business
"In Buddhism we strive to achieve enlightenment," the head monk of Kinpusenji informed the crowd that had remained after the morning service. "In the Shugendo Way practiced here at Kinpusenji and in Yoshino, we believe that in order to do that one must train their body and soul in the mountains. One must hike and walk to overcome the challenges mountain living involves in order to tap into the power of nature that is just before your eyes and yet out of sight."
I have always been skeptical of all religions and many of their practices, but something about the philosophy and practice of Shugendo intrigues me and captures my interest. Perhaps it is the massive size of the Zao-do Hall that evokes a sense of thoughtful awe, and then the fierce image of Zao Gongen, the blue skinned, wolf skin clothed, dual trident wielding, wild boar tusked main deity of Shugendo that evokes a desire to fight and overcome the challenges of mountain living to access that unseen power of nature. Whatever it may be, this is what my experience at Kinpusenji elicited.
Written 31 August 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RMartinSDXB
Buenos Aires, Argentina1,661 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2012 • Couples
Great place in Yoshino. It's the center of the town a real magic place to wonder in the morning. You can either go either in the spring or the fall to see the magic of the nature and the change of the trees. Simply outstanding.

The people is also great. Lots of patience and always willing to help. English is clearly not very fluent here but they manage to work it out. Magnificient day trip from Osaka or Nara if you want to stay in a city or just spend a night a local Ryokan.

Great experience.
Written 18 January 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle W
HK2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2012 • Friends
You can see different types of sakura around the mountain other than white sakura in the city. You can take a bus to the middle of mountain and then take a cable car for coming back to train station. It is an ideal spoting for hikers.
Written 24 April 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

amooafshin
Dubai, United Arab Emirates158 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
Kinpusenji Temple, which is one of the most important Shugendo temples, is located on the same street. Shugendo is a religion based on mountain worship that combines the principles of Buddhism and Shinto. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its main hall (the 34-meter Zao-do Hall) is the second largest wooden structure in Japan after Todaiji Nara Temple. Inside the Zao-do Hall are three blue-skinned statues of Zao Gongen, the guardian deity of the sacred mountains of the Yoshino region. Zao Gungen is one of the most important Shugendu deities, who is the embodiment of the past, present and future Buddha. The three statues of this temple are 1300 years old and their size reaches seven meters, and each of them shows one of these three aspects. The entrance to this temple is 800 yen and it takes half an hour to visit it.
Written 22 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Kinpusenji Temple, Yoshino-cho

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