A Walk Among 1,200 Sacred Statues

by An Design

Public experiences are in English unless specified as otherwise

  • Location
    Kyoto, Japan
  • Duration
    1h 30m (Public) / 1h 30m (Private)
  • Group Size
    Up to 12 guests (Public) / 12 guests (Private)
  • Language(s)
    • English


Get insider access to a mountain temple that is far off the radar of most visitors to Kyoto. As we stroll the grounds of this highly unique temple you will hear about it’s fascinating story that has never been told in such depth in English before.

We begin our magical adventure strolling through the streets of Arashiyama, a small town on the west side of Kyoto which has been a popular destination going back 1,200 years ago, when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. After strolling along the river, we make a quick visit to a Zen monastery, a walk through the famed Saga Bamboo Forest, and visit the villa of an ex-samurai film actor. Then we will head north into the foothills of the mountains, to a quiet temple called Otagi Nenbutsu-ji.

Originating in the middle 700’s, this temple had fallen on hard times after WWII. In an effort to restore it, an ambitious art project was initiated that brought regular people from all over Japan together to carve their own rakan, or followers of the Buddha, out of stone.

In this online experience you will follow the artistic transformation of Otagi Nenbutsu-ji and intimately experience the power it emanates. While traveling through space and time, this truly unique and uplifting story will undoubtedly fill your heart with joy and inspiration.

Public Experience Private/Custom Experience
Who You will be one of several joining the experience from across the globe. Exclusive experience for you and/or your party
Interaction You will get a chance to ask questions, however, the guide will be attending to all participants. You will get more one on one time with your guide throughout the experience.
Experience Standard, curated for the public. You can make custom requests to your interests.
When Choose from an available time. Choose from an available time slot or request a specific date and time.
Reduced pricing available with subscription! Learn more

Preparing for your Experience

※ Immersive and relaxing. Great for families, private groups, and team-building events.

※ A shorter format is available upon request.

※ This online experience is hosted on the Zoom video conferencing platform. Once you have made your booking you will receive an email with a link to the experience that you will join using a web browser or the Zoom app.

※ For a fully immersive effect it is recommended you join this online experience with a computer, tablet or project it onto a large screen. It is not recommended you join by smartphone.

Meet Your Guide

Experience Guide's avatar image
Andrew William
An Design

Hello, I grew up in the Washington D.C. area with deep interests in Eastern philosophy, nature and art. After completing a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture I worked in Dever, Aspen, Seattle and Hawaii building large scale residential gardens. Eleven years ago I moved to Kyoto to apprentice in a 300 year old traditional Japanese garden company where I learned the traditional techniques of garden design and construction from the masters. In 2017 I founded An Design, a Japanese garden consulting and tour company. Having received over 1,300 5-star reviews, An Design has become one of the highest rated tour companies in Kyoto. Drawing on the deep interest I have in the topics I present I am able to provide experiences for my guests that are unique and from the heart. Come with me on an adventure away from the regular tourist route and immerse yourself in the exquisite and mystical nature of Kyoto.