Sanbutsudo before the renovation works

Rinnoji (։, Rinnōji) is Nikko's most important temple. It was founded by Shodo Shonin, the Buddhist monk who introduced Buddhism to Nikko in the 8th century.

The temple's main building, the Sanbutsudo, houses large, gold lacquered, wooden statues of Amida, Senju-Kannon ("Kannon with a thousand arms") and Bato-Kannon ("Kannon with a horse head"). The three deities are regarded as Buddhist manifestations of Nikko's three mountain deities which are enshrined at Futarasan Shrine.

Sanbutsudo being renovated (as of April 2011)
Construction Notice:
The Sanbutsudo Hall is currently undergoing major renovation works, which are scheduled to last until March 2019. During this period, the temple hall is covered by a huge scaffolding structure, but it remains open to tourists

Opposite Sanbutsudo stands the temple's treasure house with Buddhist and Tokugawa related exhibits. Shoyoen, a small Japanese style garden, is located next behind the treasure house. The garden is a popular autumn leaf spot with its many maple trees standing photogenically around its central pond. Autumn colors peak here typically around the first half of November.

Shoyoen Garden


Rinnoji stands just a few steps east of Toshogu, a 30-40 minute walk or 10 minute bus ride (310 yen one way, 500 yen day pass, covered by the free passes) from Tobu and JR Nikko Stations.

How to get to and around Nikko

Hours & Fees


8:00 to 17:00 (until 16:00 from November through March)
Admission closes 30 minutes before closing time.


No closing days


400 yen (Sanbutsudo only)
300 yen (Treasure House and Shoyoen Garden)
The sale of the convenient 1000 yen combination ticket has been suspended indefinitely due to a lack of consensus between the participating shrines and temples.

Hotels around Nikko

Recommended Hotels
Chuzenjiko Kanaya Hotel
Upscale mountain lodge style hotel in rustic log cabin buildings set in the forest.
Agoda Japanican Booking
Nikko Kanaya Hotel
This historic hotel was one of the first Western style hotels in Japan. It is conveniently located across the street from the temples and shrines of Nikko.
Agoda Japanican Booking
Turtle Inn Nikko
Inexpensive inn popular among foreign tourists, conveniently located 15 minutes walk from Nikko's temples and shrines.
Agoda Booking

Tours and travel services

Page last updated: January 7, 2016