Places of Interest in Japan
Travel Guide


Sennyu-ji (temple of flowing fountain) is located at the foot of Mt. Tsukinowa in the Higashiyama area in Kyoto. It is the main temple of the Sennyu-ji School, Shingon sect .

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/taromatsumura/306310477/History 

The origin of this temple, which the local calls by the name "Mitera," can be traced back to the Tencho era (824-834) when Priest Kobo founded a small temple in the place. That small temple, which was first called by the name Horinji, and later, Sen' yu-ji, was remarkably enlarged by Priest Tsukinowa Shunjo in 1218. Large temple buildings were built in the contemporary Chinese style of the Song dynasty, and the temple was renamed after the clear water which began to flow from its precinct - Sennyu-ji.

Tsukinowa Shunjo entered the priesthood as a young man. He went to China during the Song dynasty to study Buddhist thoughts. After returning to Japan, he turned Sennyuji into a prosperous temple, by covering four schools of Buddhism in the temple: Shingon esoteric Buddhism. 

The temple was supported by the Imperial family, who were pious Buddhists. Since the burial of the Emperor Shijo in this temple in 1242, the mausoleum of several succeeding emperors were built in this area, with this temple playing the role of a mourning temple for the Imperial family. 

What to see

The scenic temple precinct includes the Butsu-den (Buddha's hall), the Shari-den (relic's hall), the Reimei-den for the repose of the late emperors, and other buildings.

This temple is known for its life-size Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy) statue, made with the wood of precious aromatic trees. The Tang Dynasty Chinese sculptor Yang Guifei created this statue under the order of the Chinese Emperor. People come here to pray for a good marriage and an easy delivery.

27 Yamanouchi-cho, Sennyuji, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City
Tel: 075-561-1551

JR Nara Line or Keihan Line to "Tofukuji" - 15 min walk. City Bus to "Sennyujimichi" - 10 min walk.

9.00 am - 4.30 pm (opening hours until until 4.00 pm from December to February)

Required Time:
About 30 minute(s)

Fees: General - 500 yen, Junior High School and Elementary School Students - 300 yen, There is an extra charge of 300 yen to see the Goten Hall and the garden.

Reservations: For large group, please make telephone reservation beforehand

Official Website:


Photo Gallery

1) http://www.taleofgenji.org/sennyuji.html 
2) http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/sennyuji/interesting/

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