Myoshinji Temple of Kyoto - The Biggest Zen Temple in Japan

Myoshinji Temple of Kyoto - The Biggest Zen Temple in Japan

For those who wish to experience the Zen lifestyle or relax in a temple, a visit to Myoshinji Temple is something you cannot afford to miss. Not only it is the biggest Zen temple in Japan, it also has a long and rich history. 

What to do at Myoshinji Temple

For those who are not Buddhists or Zen practitioners, the temple is a beautiful place to rest and admire the natural surroundings and Japanese religious architecture. The atmosphere at the temple is soothing and great for calming your soul. Here you can find many of the pine trees for which Japan is famous standing tall and green for most of the year. In spring, you can see cherry  blossoms and later hydrangeas in the nearby Myoshinji Taizoin sub-temple.

Don’t miss the impressive painting of a dragon on the ceiling in Hatto Hall, which you can enter as part of the tour. The dragon serves to protect the most important part of the temple, the Hall where the teachings of Buddha are passed to others.

There are many aspects of Zen you can explore at the temple. You can practice writing lines from the sutra, Zen meditation, listening to a Buddhist sermon or chants in praise of Buddha. You can check the schedule on the temple's website as the chanting is limited to certain months and days. 

The History

In 1337, Emperor Hanazono, the ninety-fifth emperor of  Japan, converted his imperial villa in the Hanazono district into a temple, which the Zen master named as Myoshinji.

Thanks to the support of Kanzan Egen, a buddhist monk, Myoshinji was developed further. The temple also survived the anti-Buddhist movement that happened soon after the shinbutsu bunri, the separation of Shinto from Buddhism introduced after the Meiji Restoration of 1868.

Events At Myoshinji Temple

Early morning Zen gatherings are open to the public on 2 days every month. They start at 6:00 a.m. and ends at 7:30 a.m. The Buddhist sermons in Japanese are held during those times.

Operating Hours & Entrance Fee

Myoshinji Temple Kyoto is open 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. The reception closes at 4.40pm from March to October, and closes at 3.40 pm from November through February.

Entrance to the temple grounds is 700 yen for adults and 400 yen high-school students and younger. For prayers, you could throw in 5 yen or 50 yen since they are lucky numbers. We suggest allocating at least half an hour to explore the grounds of this large temple.


  • Name: Myoshinji Temple
  • Street address: 64 Hanazono Myoshinji-cho, Ukyo, Kyoto, Kyoto 616-8035
  • Access: 5 minutes-walk from Hanazono Station on JR line 


Survey[Survey] Traveling to Japan