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The history of Sennyū-ji, a Shingon branch temple, is said to date back to at least the Heian Period. In mid-ninth century, a pre-existing temple was re-named Sennyū-ji 仙遊寺 — “temple of the playing hermit.” However, it was only in the early thirteenth century that the temple acquired its present writing, “temple of the bubbling spring” 泉涌寺. At the time, a clear source of water was said to be found on the grounds.
The present buildings date, as so often in Kyoto, mostly to the seventeenth century. Located on a hill north of Tōfuku-ji, after passing the main gate, the visitor descends towards the Buddha Hall 仏殿 and the Hall of Relics 舎利殿. A bath house can be seen on the right side while descending towards the two main halls. Continuing from there, in the south-eastern corner of the temple, lies a mausoleum for noble families and members of the Imperial House, the “tsukiwa no misasagi” 月輪陵.
More interesting to photographers are the Abbot’s Quarters behind the two main halls. They boast a nice moss garden which is at its best during the early summer and autumn seasons, and where several Buddhist sculptures and artifacts can be viewed.

Admission: open year-round, extra fee for inner garden.
Nearby places of interest: Imakumano Kannon-ji, Unryū-in.

Temple grounds.

Temple grounds.

Early Summer 初夏
Summer 夏
Autumn 秋
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