Kyoto (京都)June 17, 2023

About Myoshin-ji

Myoshin-ji is a large temple complex in Kyoto and the head temple for Renzai Zen Buddhism. Most of the buildings aren’t open to the public, but you can enter the quarters (kuri) and the main hall for a fee.

living quarters

The quarters include the gardens, kitchen, storage areas, etc of Buddhist monks and has been used for filming movies here in Japan.

Myoshin-ji's pamphlet, featuring a photo of the dragon painting

The main hall features a huge painting of a dragon in the clouds on the ceiling. No matter where you stand in the room, it seems to be looking at you. You can also see the oldest temple bell in Japan in the hall.

My Visit

Hanazono Kaikan

I dropped by on a hot June day. It was the day before the Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu taikai and I stayed at Hanazono Kaikan next to the temple.

After dropping of my luggage and taking a short nap, I headed out to visit Myoshin-ji.

Sign for Myoshin-ji

The grounds are huge. There’s also little shade, so highly suggest taking a parasol in the summer because you’ll be walking under direct sunlight a lot.

One thing that caught my eye was the Akechi Mitsuhide Bathhouse. Akechi Mitsuhide was the trusted general of Oda Nobunaga who betrayed and lead his army against him at Honno-ji, bringing about the end of his reign. He was then killed while defending against Mitsuhide’s forces. According to the sign, it was built to mourn his death.

I made my way to the back of the grounds where you can get tickets to see the living quarters and hall. Very few people there when I visited, so it was quite fun to explore. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any photos.

The main hall is impressive. the dragon on the ceiling is quite imposing. Raised platforms line the edge of the hall and I joined the few other people in sitting and gazing up at the dragon.


Myoshinji HP (JP)

Myoshinji HP (EN)

Omairi (JP)


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