Sanjusangendo translates literally as the hall (do) with 33 (san ju san) spaces between the columns (gen). It refers to the interval between the buildings supporting columns and is a traditional measurement in Japan. The building is 120 metres long which we’re told makes it Japans longest wooden building.
Sanjusangendo was founded in 1164 and was fully rebuilt in the original style in 1266 after it was burned down. Some parts are newer, there was a gate added around 1600 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the orange corridor in the gardens is a recent addition.
To be honest though, despite the historical building, unusual cherry blossom and a pretty garden the reason we jumped off the train from Tokyo and set off immediately on foot to see it on our first day in the city was what is displayed inside the hall.


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