Zenko-ji Temple
Zenko-ji Temple
4.5
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Duration: < 1 hour
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  • DREGS
    Grafham, United Kingdom380 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feel for the key!
    We enjoyed our visit. Finding the key to Paradise in the pitch black is a experience - not only does it show you how a blind person feels but also it is worth it for the atmosphere. The Buddhist praying area is very calm and they keep the place very keen in the Main hall so walking in stocking feet as you carry your shoes around in a bag is not a issue. Beware the initial steps down into the corridor with the key is dimly lit and the first steps are steep and deep. The gardens are beautiful and there are plenty of places to have food - we took a bento box in with us and found a quit spot . Plenty of loos around and opportunities abound for buying souvenirs, fortune telling and food. It’s easy to find and if you take a bus it saves time but if not it’s an easy walk from the station.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 October 2023
  • Linda
    Hanc, France228 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    good
    part of a day visit but we'll worth it. we had a local guide who spoke good English and told all the stories about the temple. we paid extra to go into the temple and down In the tunnel. this is in complete darkness, you have to feel the wall with your left hand to find the handle of happiness. completely safe no surprises. as with temples you have to take your shoes off, the staff give you bags to put shoes in.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 January 2024
  • Karen M
    Kirkwall, United Kingdom1,199 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing architecture to this stunning temple & gardens
    Amazing architecture & huge main structure. The numerous buildings are surrounded by tranquil gardens & paths. You're able to stroll around all of the buildings & enter a few - some require a ticket. Sign posts direct you around the gardens & it's easy to follow
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 June 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,983 reviews
Excellent
973
Very good
831
Average
163
Poor
11
Terrible
5

Karen M
Kirkwall, UK1,199 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Amazing architecture & huge main structure.
The numerous buildings are surrounded by tranquil gardens & paths. You're able to stroll around all of the buildings & enter a few - some require a ticket.
Sign posts direct you around the gardens & it's easy to follow
Written 3 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EdinAust
Edinburgh, UK444 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
If you’re anyway near Nagano you really must go and visit the temple. As well as being architecturally stunning, huge and impressive, it’s also a very soothing and spiritual place. All of the staff and guides were extremely courteous and willing to help by answering questions and offering information on the temple and the service that was taking place while we were there.
Written 27 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda
Hanc, France228 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
part of a day visit but we'll worth it. we had a local guide who spoke good English and told all the stories about the temple.
we paid extra to go into the temple and down In the tunnel. this is in complete darkness, you have to feel the wall with your left hand to find the handle of happiness. completely safe no surprises.
as with temples you have to take your shoes off, the staff give you bags to put shoes in.
Written 10 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DREGS
Grafham, UK380 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
We enjoyed our visit. Finding the key to Paradise in the pitch black is a experience - not only does it show you how a blind person feels but also it is worth it for the atmosphere. The Buddhist praying area is very calm and they keep the place very keen in the Main hall so walking in stocking feet as you carry your shoes around in a bag is not a issue. Beware the initial steps down into the corridor with the key is dimly lit and the first steps are steep and deep.
The gardens are beautiful and there are plenty of places to have food - we took a bento box in with us and found a quit spot .
Plenty of loos around and opportunities abound for buying souvenirs, fortune telling and food.
It’s easy to find and if you take a bus it saves time but if not it’s an easy walk from the station.
Written 7 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Biffro
London, UK1,425 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
This temple is absolutely beautiful and our favourite so far having visited many of the shrines and temples in Tokyo. There are much less tourists here which gives you the opportunity to savour and enjoy the surroundings. The template has been so well preserved and has lots of small shrines and a gate on the approach up to it with beautiful trees and plants and lanterns all around. There are also lots of little restaurants and places to buy souvenirs. We had a really enjoyable walk up to see this - 25 minutes from Nagano station and it was well worth the walk. A really beautiful place.
Written 12 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

marjorie w
Blackpool, UK104 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
We visited at 6.30am to take part in the early morning rituals performed by the monks.We had received a sacred blessing from the head monk before entering the temple.Itcwas a very moving and enjoyable experience.
The temple dominates the lovely town of Nagano.
A lovely experience.
Written 9 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rama1
Melbourne, Australia1,187 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
This complex is enormous and has many buildings surrounding it.
A must do is the walk under the building which is pitch black and silent apart from people cursing as they run into the wall.
Lovely grounds and gardens
Written 7 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alissila
Cham, Switzerland655 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
Beautiful Zen Buddhist Temple with several large gates leading to the main temple. The swastika on the temple confuse many people. It is not well-known that the swastika is an old Buddhist symbol. Wikipedia:
the mark of well being
The word “swastika” has Sanskrit roots and means “the mark of well being.” It has been used in prayers of the Rig Veda, the oldest of Hindu scriptures. In Buddhism, the symbol is known as “manji” and signifies the Buddha's footsteps. It is used to mark the location of Buddhist temples.
Written 7 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Zfy Ed
Singapore, Singapore10,170 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
Visitors to Nagano will surely not miss this attraction as it is the No.1 recommended place to visit. About a good 25 min walk from JR Nagano station, you will reach this massive, spectacular and beautiful curated temple and temple grounds. Do note that while walking here, it's like "walking up a gentle mountain slope", so a good walking pair of shoes is recommended.

The temple is huge and segregated into different sections and the main temple is the one that most visitors will visit and do their photoshoot. From the main entrance to the main temple ground, you will need to walk about 10-12mins, passing by the Nakamise-dōri Street, with shops located on both sides and mostly selling souvenirs of the temple and of Nagano, food, ice cream, cafe etc.

For Buddhists or local religious enthusiasts, this place is definitely worth a visit as you can learn a lot it's historical roots, developments over the centuries and may take quite a while as you may involve in some of the rituals. But for us, it's just an eye opening visiting experience to gain new insights.

There are also garden grounds around with greenery and you can relax and take a seat here.

From here, a short walk will lead you to the city museum of the art and park, which I will review separately!
Written 5 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hiroaki Kaneko
Tokyo, Japan5,110 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
長野を代表する寺院の一つ。年間を通して国内外から多くの参拝客・観光客が訪れる。にもかかわらず境内は過度な観光地化はされておらず、国籍や年齢問わずほとんどの参拝客・観光客は比較的静かに参拝している。安置されている仏像は勿論のこと、多くの建物自体が国宝もしくは重要文化財に指定されている。
基本的に境内は無料で利用できるが、一部の建物内(本堂、経蔵、山門等)は入場料金が必要。各建物や安置されている仏像の案内には英語も併記されており、境内に常駐するガイドも必要に応じ英語で案内するため、海外からの観光客も安心して利用できる。
長野駅から2km程の距離があるため、バスなどの公共交通機関も整備されているが、特に苦にもならない緩やかな坂道である上に、参道や仲見世通りには店も多く立ち並んでいるため、徒歩で参拝する人も多い。
お勧めの季節は5月の新緑の季節。比較的人も少なく陽の光に照らされた新緑が素晴らしく、清々しい気持ちになれるだろう。お勧めの時間帯は夜。仲見世通り等の店は全て閉まっているが、その分休日でも人の姿はほとんどいない。ライトアップされた本堂を独り占めできるチャンスかもしれない。

It's one of the representative temples in Nagano. It is visited by many worshippers and tourists from home and abroad throughout the year. In spite of this, the temple grounds are not overly touristy, and most worshippers and tourists, regardless of nationality or age, worship in relative silence. In addition to the enshrined Buddhist statues, many of the buildings themselves have been designated as national treasures or important cultural properties.
Basically, you can use the temple for free, but some buildings (the main hall, sutra storehouse, temple gate, etc.) require an entrance fee. Information on each building and the Buddha statues enshrined therein is not only Japanese but also written in English, and guides stationed in the temple provide information in English when necessary, so tourists from overseas can use the temple with peace of mind.
It is about 2 km from Nagano Station, so while public transportation such as buses are available, the road to the temple is a gentle slope that is not particularly difficult, and many stores are lined on the approach and Nakamise Street, so many people visit the temple on foot.
It is about 2 km from Nagano Station, so while public transportation such as buses are available, the road to the temple is a gentle slope that is not particularly difficult, and many stores are lined on the approach and Nakamise Street, so many people visit the temple on foot.
My recommendation season to visit is during the fresh green season in May. There are relatively few people here, and the fresh greenery in the sunlight is wonderful and refreshing. The best time to visit is at night. All the stores on Nakamise Street are closed, but this means that even on holidays there are few people around. You may have a chance to see the main hall lit up all by yourself.
Written 13 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Zenko-ji Temple - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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