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Mampukuji Temple in Kyoto

A Chinese priest, Ingen, constructed the Mampukuji Temple, the chief temple of the Okaku sect of Japan’s Rinzai Zen Buddhism, in 1661.

Mampukuji is a spectacular display of Chinese Ming architecture. Nestled in the shade of the hills in Uji, in south Kyoto, Mampukuji with its carvings, elegant paintings and Confucianism acted as a center and passage for Chinese culture in Tokugawa Japan.


- The huge temple has more than 20 structures sprawling over its spacious complex.
- The outermost gate, So-mon, with its roof adorned with dolphin statutes and two Chinese lanterns hanging from the eaves constitutes a typical example of traditional Chinese architecture. The sharply upturned eaves and a plaque with the temple’s name written by its founder, add grandeur to the main gate of this ancient temple in Japan.
- The Main Hall, Daiyuho-den, was erected by Thai teak.
- The Lecture Hall (Hatto) that follows the Main Hall has a rich collection of 60,000 priceless wooden blocks with the complete edition of the Obaku Sutras printed in the 17th C.
- The wooden fish in the dining-hall of the temple is worth noting. The fish is beaten to make announcement for mealtimes.
- The statue of Hotei, one of the seven Japanese gods of good luck, famous for his fat belly and amiable disposition adorns the Tenno-den (Heavenly Kings Hall) of the temple.

- Ringing of a huge bell marks the hours for temple observances.

How to Reach

From JR Obaku Station on the JR Nara Line, 5-minute-walk will take you to the Mampukuji temple in Kyoto. The two local trains, which run between Kyoto and Obaku Station per hour, take around 25 minutes to reach the JR Obaku Station. The fare for one-way train journey is just 230 Yen.
You can also opt for the Keihan Uji Line from the central Kyoto (Shijo Station) and get off at Keihan Obaku Station. The one-way trip will take around half an hour and cost 300 Yen per head.
From Keihan Obaku Station walk for 5-10 minutes and you will get the spectacular So-mon (main gate of the temple) in front of you.

Admission fee for this temple is 500 Yen.

When you are on a trip to Kyoto, spend some time to visit the famous Mampukuji Temple of Japan’s ancient capital.
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