In western Kyoto, the massive gate of Ninnaji Temple stands guard over the Omuro area of the ancient capital.
The temple was founded in 886 C.E. by the Emperor Koko.
For forty years prior to that, it served as the summer residence for the Imperial Family known as Omuro Palace (Omuro Gosho).
Ninnanji has a massive entrance gate called San-mon (Mountain Gate) which has a tiled roof and two devas guarding the entrance.
The Main Hall, or Hondo, contains an golden image of Amitabha (a National Treasure).
The 33 meter, 5-story pagoda pictured above was built in 1637.
The temple compound also is home to many ancient Omuro Zakura, small late-blooming cherry trees.
In the hills just behind Ninnaji is the Hachi-ju Haka-sho (88 Temple Pilgrimage), a short hike around mini-temples mirrored on the more famous 88 Temple Pilgrimage around Shikoku. The entire walk can be done in less than an hour and affords a great view of Kyoto below.
Ryoanji Temple, Daikakuji Temple, and the Golden Pavilion are all a short ride on a bicycle.
33 Ouchi Omuro
075 461 1155
400 yen fee to the sub temple to the left as you enter; otherwise, it is free.