The highlights and how to get to Kanchi-in.

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Kanchi-in (観智院) is a temple of the Toji Shingon sect, located in Minami Ward, Kyoto City, and is one of a tatchu (sub-temple) of To-ji (東寺).

Because a lot of sacred books of the Shingon Esoteric Buddhism are collected in this temple, it is now also called ‘Graduate school of the Shingon Buddhism.’
So, it produced many scholarly monks.

In addition, this temple was also a place used for hiding himself after Musasi MIYAMOTO (宮本武蔵) who was a master of the sword during the early Edo period did a duel called ‘Duel of the Ichijoji-Sagarimatsu’.

The highlight of this temple is ‘the Suiboku-ga (ink painting) which Musashi MIYAMOTO left.’

He was also known as an artist and left his art work like Suiboku-ga.
But it is only here that we can see his work in Kyoto.

If you want to see the Suiboku-ga (ink painting) which Musashi MIYAMOTO left, please visit this temple.

So, I visited Kanchi-in this time.

Contents:

  1. The history of Kanchi-in
  2. The history of To-ji (the main temple of Kanchi-in)
  3. About Kanchi-in
  4. Information for visitors
  5. The highlights of Kanchi-in
  6. The videos・photos of Kanchi-in
  7. The goshuin (red seal) of Kanchi-in
  8. How to get to Kanchi-in
  9. Hotel search & reservation around Kanchi-in

1.The history of Kanchi-in

Let’s study the history of this sub-temple with me before introducing of Kanchi-in (観智院).
I think that we can enjoy the sightseeing of this sub-temple more by learning the history of it. XD

Kanchi-in was founded in 1359 of the Muromachi period by Goho (杲宝) who was a scholarly monk of the Shingon Sect.

He is the person who wrote a book called ‘Toboki (東宝記)‘ which the history of To-ji was written.
Because this book is a very precious history book, is designated as a national treasure now.

Temple buildings collapsed by Keicho Fushimi earthquake in 1596 of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
So, all buildings of this temple were rebuilt after the Edo period.

The Kyaku-den (guest hall) of this temple was rebuilt in 1605 of the Edo period by an act of oblation of Kitano Mandokoro (北政所) who was a legal wife of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI (豊臣秀吉).
Now, Kyaku-den is designated as a national treasure.

This temple is also known as a place used for hiding himself after Musasi MIYAMOTO (宮本武蔵) who was a master of the sword during the early Edo period did a duel called ‘Duel of the Ichijoji-Sagarimatsu’.
Therefore the Suiboku-ga (ink painting) which he drew is left in the Kyaku-den hall of this temple.
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By the way, the keyword of the history that I want to teach to you in this temple is ‘Jusan-mairi (十三参り)‘ and ‘Kokuzo Bosatsu (虚空蔵菩薩:Akasa-garbha bodhisattva).’

What are they?

OK, first, I will explain about ‘Jusan-mairi (十三参り).’

This is Japanese customs which is practiced for the happiness of children when they are 13 years old.
In the Kansai region (include Kyoto), Jusan-mairi is more popular than Shichi-go-san (a day of prayer for the healthy growth of children of 7, 5, and 3).
Especially in Kyoto, this is very important customs to give prayer to Kokuzo Bosatsu to grant wisdom to a child.

Then why will they give prayer to Kokuzo Bosatsu?

OK, second, I will explain about ‘Kokuzo Bosatsu (虚空蔵菩薩:Akasa-garbha bodhisattva).’

The principal image of Kanchi-in is ‘the Five Major Kokuzo Bosatsu (五大虚空蔵菩薩).’
It is the 13th bodhisattva among the bodhisattvas, and has divine favor of the wisdom.
kanchiin-01-1

Please pay attention to the word of ’13th’ and ‘wisdom.’
The 13-year-old child gives prayer to the Kokuzo Bosatsu which is the 13th bodhisattva.
By doing so, it is believed that children can receive the benefit of wisdom.
Yes, it is one of the Japanese wordplay of ’13th’ and ‘thirteen years old’.

So, this temple is also famous as the place of ‘Jusan-mairi (十三参り).’
(The temple which is the most famous for ‘Jusan-mairi’ is Horin-ji (法輪寺). (Arashiyama, Kyoto))

By the way, in the customs of Jusan-mairi, it is said that we must not look back until we leave the temple after having gone and worshiped.
If we look back in the middle of worship, it is said that we must return the wisdom to Kokuzo Bosatsu.

2.The history of To-ji (the main temple of Kanchi-in)

If you want to know the history of To-ji, please read following article.

3.About Kanchi-in

Open:9:00 ~ 17:00
Admission fee:500 yen (High school student or older), 300 yen (Junior high school student or younger)
Address:403, Kujocho, Minami-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 601-8473, Japan
Phone number:075-691-1131
Foundation:1359
Founder:Goho (杲宝)
Sect:Toji Shingon sect
Principal image:Five Major Kokuzo Bosatsu (五大虚空蔵菩薩)

Kanchi-in (観智院) is a temple of the Toji Shingon sect, located in Minami Ward, Kyoto City, and is one of a tatchu (sub-temple) of To-ji (東寺).
kanchiin-03

Because a lot of sacred books of the Shingon Esoteric Buddhism are collected in this temple, it is now also called ‘Graduate school of the Shingon Buddhism.’
kanchiin-04

It was officially recognized as the ”Graduate school of the Shingon Buddhism” by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA (徳川家康) in the Edo period.
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And it is also known as a place used for hiding himself after Musasi MIYAMOTO (宮本武蔵) who was a master of the sword during the early Edo period did a duel called ‘Duel of the Ichijoji-Sagarimatsu’.
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Next, let’s go to see the highlights of Kanchi-in!!
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4.Information for visitors

・It will open to the public throughout the year from May 25, 2017.

・Photography and video recording are prohibited inside the building of this temple. 
(The photography to the direction of the garden is OK.)

・Monopod/Tripods and stepladders are prohibited in this temple.

・The worship method of a Shinto shrine and a Buddhist temple, please refer to the following article.

5.The highlights of Kanchi-in

This mark ‘*‘ is a pay area.

西門:Nishi-mon gate

This is the Nishi-mon gate which has the role as a entrance of this temple.
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南門:Minami-mon gate

This is the Minami-mon gate which has the role as a Chokushi-mon Gate (gate for Imperial Envoys).
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静観堂:Seikan-do*

This is the Seikan-do.
This is built near the Kuri and the image of Kobo Daishi Kukai (空海) who was the founder of the Shingon sect is enshrined in this building.
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庫裏:Kuri

This is the Kuri.
It has the role as a priest’s living quarters or the kitchen of a temple.
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客殿 (国宝)*:Kyaku-den hall (National treasure)*

This is the Kyaku-den hall which was rebuilt in 1605 of the Edo period and is designated as a national treasure.
(I extracted this photo from a brochure.)

It was rebuilt by an act of oblation of Kitano Mandokoro (北政所) who was a legal wife of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI (豊臣秀吉).
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The Suiboku-ga (ink painting) which Musashi MIYAMOTO drew is displayed in the alcove of this building.
(I extracted this photo from a brochure.)
kanchiin-02-1

涅槃録(長者)の庭*:Nehanroku(Choja)-no-niwa garden*

The front garden of the Kyaku-den hall is called ‘Nehanroku(Choja)-no-niwa garden.’
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It is said that the design of this garden expresses ‘the world view and the world of spiritual enlightenment in Esoteric Buddhism.’
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This garden was re-designed in 2017 in commemoration of the 1200th anniversary of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism.
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六地蔵尊*:Rokujizoson (Six Jizo)*

This is the Rokujizoson (Six Jizo).
They are Bodhisattvas (菩薩) who make a pilgrimage around the six realms of Buddhism.
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金剛蔵*:Kongo-zo (treasure house)*

This is the Kongo-zo which has the role as a treasure house. 
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本堂*:Hon-do hall*

This is the Hondo-hall.
(I extracted this photo from a brochure.)
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The decoration of the roof is very characteristic.
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Five Major Kokuzo Bosatsu (五大虚空蔵菩薩) which is the principal image of this temple is enshrined in this building.
(I extracted this photo from a brochure.)
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四方正面の庭*:Shihoshomen-no-niwa garden*

The courtyard of the temple is called ‘Shihoshomen-no-niwa garden‘.
Shihoshomen (四方正面) has the meaning of ‘All directions are the front.’
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書院*:Shoin*

This is the Shoin.
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It has wall paintings which was drawn by Taisuke HAMADA (浜田泰介) who is the Modern Japanese painter.
(I extracted this photo from a brochure.)
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楓泉観(茶室)*:Fuusen-kan (Tea house)*

This is the Fuusen-kan which has the role as a tea house.
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露地*:Roji*

This is the front garden of the tea house called Roji.
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6.The videos・photos of Kanchi-in

■YouTube:観智院(東寺 塔頭)(京都)の境内と庭園:Kanchi-in (Kyoto) 

■Flickr:観智院(東寺 塔頭):Kanchi-in(20170328)
観智院(東寺 塔頭):Kanchi-in(20170328)

7.The goshuin (red seal) of Kanchi-in

The goshuin of this temple is “Kokuzo Bosatsu (虚空蔵菩薩)” which is the principal image of this temple.
We can get this goshuin in the Jiki-do hall of To-ji. (300 yen)
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8.How to get to Kanchi-in

How to get to Kanchi-in is as follows.
It is located in the precincts of To-ji.

The nearest station of Kanchi-in Temple is “JR Kyoto station” or “Kintetsu To-ji Station”
(We can also go by bus from “JR Kyoto Station”, “Hankyu Kawaramachi Station” and “Keihan Gion-Shijo Station”.)

  Timetable and Route Search

■Route Example (From Osaka station to Kintetsu To-ji Station)
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■Route Example (From Namba station to Kintetsu To-ji Station)
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■When you go on foot from JR Kyoto Station

It’s about 20 minutes (1.2 km) on foot.
toji-02-txt

■When you go on foot from Kintetsu To-ji Station

It’s about 7 minutes (400 m) on foot.
toji-03-txt

■When you get on a bus from JR Kyoto Station

  Timetable and Route Search of bus

[Timetable]Route No.16


Bus company:Kyoto City Bus
Routes/Destination:No.16[Bound for Toji Temple]
Boarding bus stop:Kyoto Sta.[C4]
Alighting bus stop:Toji Nishimon-mae
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 14 min

■When you get on a bus from JR Kyoto Station(Hachijoguchi)

  Timetable and Route Search of bus

[Timetable]Route No.16


Bus company:Kyoto City Bus
Routes/Destination:No.16[Bound for Toji Temple]
Boarding bus stop:Kyoto Sta. (Hachijoguchi)[G1]
Alighting bus stop:Toji Nishimon-mae
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 7 min

■When you get on a bus from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station

  Timetable and Route Search of bus

[Timetable]Route No.207


Bus company:Kyoto City Bus
Routes/Destination:No.207[Bound for Toji Temple Via Shijo Omiya]
Boarding bus stop:Shijo Kawaramachi[D]
Alighting bus stop:Toji Higashimon-mae (Toji Temple)
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 22 min

■When you get on a bus from Keihan Gion-Shijo Station

  Timetable and Route Search of bus

[Timetable]Route No.207


Bus company:Kyoto City Bus
Routes/Destination:No.207[Bound for Toji Temple Via Shijo Omiya]
Boarding bus stop:Shijo Keihan-mae[B]
Alighting bus stop:Toji Higashimon-mae (Toji Temple)
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 25 min

■When you take a taxi

From Kyoto Station:850 yen ~ 960 yen (about 10 minutes)
From Gion-Shijo Station:1,730 yen ~ 2,000 yen (about 15 minutes)

・Let’s show a taxi driver the following phrase.
toji-51

・If you want to call a taxi, let’s show the following phrase.
taxi-call

[Phone number of taxi dispatch : Around the Kyoto Station]*Japanese text only.

9.Hotel search & reservation around Kanchi-in

How did you like it?

Please try to go to this temple.

Have a nice trip! XD

<Let’s search the sightseeing information of Kansai in Japan on ‘Japan’s Travel Manual‘!!>
<This site introduces the easiest way to get Japanese (Kansai) sightseeing spots to you.>

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