Otagi Nenbutsu-ji, beautiful buddhist stone sculptures.
In Arashiyama, go to Adashino Nenbutsu-ji, where one can walk the bamboo grove. pass this temple, follow the walking path north,till one reaches the orange torri, walk through it and continue walking for another 10 mins. the Otagi temple is on your left side, hill slope.
the Otagi Nenbutsu-ji looks very ordinary, but the treasures are inside !
The statues here are special because most of them were carved by amateur carvers.
a famous sculptor, Kocho Nishimura taught hundreds of sculptors, amateur and professional alike how to carve statues from stones, the result is a delightful mix of serene, somber, silly and bizarre. Try to find the two tipplers, two doing different handstand, a photographer, a saxophone player and a surfing disciple ?
a donation of 300 yen is requested for the upkeep of the ground.
How to get there
By Japan Railways (JR)
The fastest access from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama is provided by the JR Sagano Line (also known as JR Sanin Line). The one way ride from Kyoto Station to Saga-Arashiyama Station takes 15 minutes and costs 230 Yen.
From Saga-Arashiyama Station, central Arashiyama can be reached in a 5-10 minute walk.
By Hankyu Railways
From Kawaramachi or Karasuma Station in central Kyoto (Shijo Street), take the Hankyu Main Line to Katsura Station and transfer to the Hankyu Arashiyama Line for Arashiyama. The one way trip takes about 20 minutes and costs 220 Yen.
Hankyu Arashiyama Station is located on the opposite side of the river, about a 5-10 minute walk from central Arashiyama.
Bus lines connect Arashiyama with several parts of Kyoto, however, it is recommended to access Arashiyama by train to avoid the risk of getting stuck in traffic jams.
By Car / taxi
tell the taxi driver to take you to the Otagi Nenbutsu-ji, the temple is on your left side, hill side. before the road enters the tunnel.
What's the collective noun for Buddhas? A flashmob of Buddhas?
Otagi Nembutsuji is an hour out of Kyoto on the number 72 bus, beyond the Arashiyama hills and obviously not marked on most tourist maps as there was not a soul in the entire place. Well, besides me and the Buddhas.
There are nearly 1500 carved Buddhas here, from drinking Buddhas to a surfing Buddhas, and even an Akibahara geek Buddha, complete with glasses and calculator.
Mossy, misty, and silent, this was my favourite place in Kyoto.