Discover Kyoto

Here is the navel of Kyoto?! ~Rokkakudo~


Why it is called "Rokkakudo"?

Main shrine of Rokkakudo.

A lot of business persons are walking hurriedly in Karasuma area, which is the center of business in Kyoto.
I would like to introduce the calm place people forget about the busyness at the area where are a lot of office buildings lined up.

The temple is called “Rokkaku san” and loved by the people living in Kyoto.
It is known as “Rokkakudo” since ancient times, because the roof of the main building shape is hexagon. In addition, you can find hexagon shaped things here and there in the temple.

The official name of Rokkakudo is ‘Chohouji temple’.
But why have Rokkakudo started to forcus on hexagon…

Hexagon implies ‘Rokkon seijo’ (purification of the six roots of perception)
Rokkon means 6 desires caused by eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and consciousness. It is said that when you purify desires, corners of desires are removed, and you can get a harmony.

Rokkakudo has relaxed atmosphere and unique scenery. There are many highlights in precincts of Rokkakudo, which is also said to be ‘The center of Kyoto’.

Hondo (Main temple building)

Main shrine and big red lantern.

The Nyoirinkannonbosatsu (Cintāmaṇicakra) is worshiped here. The kannon has the chintamani (wish-fulfilling jewel) and the dharma-chakra (weapon that defeat evils).
It is believed that the kannon offers blessings for long life, easy delivery of a baby and protection from harm.

Heso-ishi (Navel stone)

Heso-ishi: Navel stone in Rokkakudo.

When you go through that gate you will see the hexagon shaped stone with a hole in the middle in front, on your right. It was generally called “Heso-ishi” , compared to navel, the center of a body.

The willow of matchmaking

In the Heian period, there was the story that Emperor Saga encountered a beautiful lady under the willow of Rokkakudo and married her thanks to the divine revelation in a dream.
In this story, a rumor spread that when people wished on the willow of Rokkakudo, they made a good match, and it began to be called ‘The willow of matchmaking’.

Statues of the 16 Rakans

Statues of the 16 Rakans in Rokkakudo.

Rakan is the name that is given to distinguished monk who hands down and protects the teachings of Buddha. 16 means that Rakan is seen everywhere.
The 16 Rakans in Rokkakudo put up “Wagen aigo”(Calm and charming face with quiet and warm words), and they are always smiling!

‘Ozizo-san’ (Popular deity in the folk belief)

Jizo in Rokkakudo.

A lot of Ozizo-san enshrined in the precinct of Rokkakudo.
Near the entrance of the Ikenobo hall, there are ‘Kitamuki zizo’, who protect Kyoto imperial palace, ‘Warabe zizo’, who protect small children, and ‘Zizo yama’ .
Also, in the east of the precinct, there are ‘Hitokoto negai zizo’, who fulfills people’s wishes, and ‘Gassho zizo’, who pray a wish so as to wrap it with the palm of a hand.

‘Hato mikuzi’ (Written fortune designed pigeon)

Very friendly pigeons.

There are very friendly pigeons in Rokkakudo.
Hato mikuzi is the lovely written fortune in the motif of the pigeon. An unglazed ceramic pigeon has a written fortune like a perch.

Pigeon ornament

Feel relaxed atmosphere!

Big incense stand in Rokkakudo.

Rokkakudo is not huge temple, but there are symbols which have interesting story.
In addition, because it is the birthplace of Kado (Ikebana or Flower arrangement), sometimes events of kado are held.

When you are tired of a stoll around Kyoto city , why don’t you visit Rokkakudo?
You may calm feeling and relax!!
A woman wearing a yukata in Rokkakudo.

Rokkakudo <頂法寺/六角堂>

Adress 京都市中京区六角通東洞院西入堂之前町
Donomae-cho, Nishiiru, Higasinotoin, Rokkaku-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, Japan
TEL 075-221-2686
Open 6:00~17:00
Entrance fee Free
Access 3 minutes walk from Karasuma-Oike Station on Kyoto subway
5 minutes walk from Karasuma Station on Hankyu line