Nanzen-ji is an awesome sight, and has played a significant part in popularising Zen Buddhism in Kyoto. It was built by Emperor Kameyama during the 13th century, and a towering sanmon (main gate) was added to the structure in 1628. The gate offers impressive views across the city, but is most famous as the hiding place of Japan’s version of Guy Fawkes. After a failed attempt to assassinate ruler Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1594, robber Goemon Ishikawa hid away inside the gate until he was discovered and boiled alive in oil. More peaceful, Zen-like reasons to visit Nanzen-ji include the ‘Leaping Tiger’ dry Zen garden of the Abbot’s quarters and a trio of tranquil sub-temples, all of which feature impressive gardens.
Fukuchi-cho, Nanzen-ji, Sakyo-ku
|Opening hours:||Mar-Nov 8.40am-5pm, Dec-Feb 8.40am-4.30pm|
|Transport:||Kaege Station (Tozai line)|
|Price:||Admission Grounds free. Abbot’s quarters ¥500. Sanmon ¥500. Sub-temples ¥300-¥400|