The tip of Tahoto Pagoda, part of the Zenrin-ji Temple, peaks out between layers of sprawling mountain foliage. The Eikan-do, formerly known as Zenrinji, dates back to the 9th century. The temple was founded as a training school for the Esoteric Buddhism of Shingon sect. Over time, the temple converted to the Jodo sect of Buddhism.
The stunning Tahoto Pagoda is only one of many attractions in the complex, although it is the most famous. Other attractions include a pond garden, Hodo Pond, and the main building temple itself. Within the main temple is housed a unique Buddha statue; the Buddha is looking over his shoulder. Eikan-do is most famous for its stunning display of autumn colors, which are enhanced by an illumination display from mid-November to early December.
Eikan-do is a three-minute walk from the city bus stop Nanzenji-Eikando-michi in eastern Kyoto. The temple grounds are open from 9 am to 5 p.m. every day. The cost of admission is 600 yen ($6 USD) for adults with discounts offered for students. The entrance fee for the special autumn illumination exhibit is 1,000 yen ($10 USD).