Ryozen Kannon: The giant sitting Buddha statue overlooking Kyoto

Sitting east of Kyoto is a statue of a Budda that looks over the skyline. This is Ryozen Kannon, located just to the southeast of Maruyama Park.


Ryozen Kannon was built in 1955 to commemorate the Japanese soldiers who died during World War II. It was constructed in a location overlooking Kyoto to ensure the spirits of the dead could look over the city they gave their lives to protect. The temple also serves as a symbol of peace and a reminder of the horrors of war.

What You Can See

The main attraction of Ryozen Kannon is the impressive statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. The figure stands at a towering height of 24 meters and is made of bronze. Visitors can climb inside the statue and explore the museum located within. Inside the statue, visitors can see exhibits showcasing the history of Japanese soldiers, including their uniforms and equipment. The museum also displays a collection of art and other artefacts related to Buddhism.

Another highlight of Ryozen Kannon is the panoramic view of Kyoto from the temple’s grounds. Visitors can see breathtaking city views, including Kyoto Tower, the Imperial Palace, and the Higashiyama mountain range. The temple grounds are also home to a peaceful Japanese garden, which offers a serene environment for visitors to relax and reflect. The temple grounds also include cherry blossoms, so you can spend time looking at them, as I did.

How to Get There

Ryozen Kannon is located in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto and is accessible by public transportation. Visitors can take a bus or subway to the temple, depending on their starting point. From Kyoto Station, take bus number 100 or 206 to Gion or Higashiyama Station. Alternatively, take the subway to the Higashiyama Station and walk for about 10 minutes to the temple. Visitors can also take a taxi from Kyoto Station for a more convenient but expensive option.

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