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Ryozen Kannon - Kyoto

Located at 526-2 Shimokawaracho, Higashiyama Ward in Kyoto City, the Ryozen Kannon (霊山観音) is a war memorial that commemorates the war dead in the Pacific War Theater during the Second World War. 

Ryozen Kannon (霊山観音)

Ryozen Kannon History

Ryozen Kannon

The Main Gate to the Ryozen Kannon vicinity.

The Ryozen Kannon is famous for its impressive 24-meter (80 ft) tall statue of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Kannon). The massive concrete and steel 500-ton statue was built by Hirosuke Ishikawa and unveiled on June 8, 1955. 

Ryozen Kannon and Memorial to the Unknown Soldier Who Perished in World War II

Ryozen Kannon as seen from the parking area

Ryozen Kannon Admission Fee

The large Chochin Lantern of Ryozen Kannon

Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, also known as the Goddess of Mercy, was built to honor the war dead of World War II, both Japanese and Allied soldiers. The giant statue is the centerpiece and probably the highlight of the war memorial. However, on the other hand, it is not the only thing to see on the memorial grounds. 

Inside Ryozen Kannon grounds:

Ryozen Kannon Incense Burner

The Wishing Ball

The Aizen Myouou Hall

Inside the Main Hall:

The Main Hall under the 80ft. tall statue

One of the two Buddha statues in one of the rooms in the Main Hall

The Sleeping Buddha Statue in one of the rooms in the Main Hall.

Principal Image of the Zodiac:

Ryozen Kannon

The Principal Image of the Zodiac found inside the giant statue

Some of the images inside the "womb" of the giant statue

There is a shrine beneath the statue that contains an image of Bodhisattva Ekadasamuka and the images of the god of wind and god of thunder. There is also a memorial hall in honor of the unknown soldier killed in World War 2. 

The Memorial Hall to the Unknown Soldier of WW2:

Memorial Hall to the Unknown Soldier of the Second World War

The shrine inside the Memorial Hall

Soil or Sand Dedicated from the Military Cemeteries All Over the World

Of course, I looked for the soil from my country

The beautiful stain glass window inside the Memorial Hall.

Aside from that, there is also a Christian-style Memorial Hall on the northeast side of the memorial grounds. Inside the chapel are library-style drawers that contain the files of the names of the Allied soldiers and prisoners of war (POW) who died in Japanese controlled territories during the Second World War.  There are also cabinets containing soil from every Allied cemetery from the Pacific theater of World War 2.

Buddha's Footprint Stone

In the garden area, visitors can see other Buddhist statues and the large Buddha footprints that is probably proportionate to that of the 24-meter Goddess of Mercy statue. 

Other things to see in the memorial grounds are:

The Kagamiike Pond

The Guardian deity of Miscarried Foetus

Homa Hall

Wishing Ball

The Wishing Ball, which is one of the 9 Higashiyama Healing Buddhist Statues and altar objects. It is believed that your wish will be granted if you walk around the wishing ball many times will touching the ball with your right hand. 

Some worn-out slippers of monks on a pilgrimage

Since I paid the entrance, I took the opportunity to explore each corner of the memorial grounds after making my wish on the Wishing Ball.

Ryozen Kannon Admission Fee:

To enter the Ryozen Kannon memorial grounds, you have to pay 300 yen per adult, 200 yen per high schooler, and 100 yen per child.

Ryozen Kannon Opening Hours:

Ryozen Kannon memorial grounds are open from 8:40AM to 4:20PM.

Why visit Ryozen Kannon?

Overall, my perception of the Japanese changed as I saw that in little ways they were "repenting" for the mistakes that they have done during the Second World War. So, if you have family members who fought for your country during the Second World War, then add this place to your itinerary and offer them a prayer.

Getting to Ryozen Kannon: 

From Kyoto Station, ride bus number 206 or 207. Board down at Gion bus stop. From there, walk up the hill to reach the memorial grounds. 
Bus Fare: 230 yen

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