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Chion-in is the head temple of a Buddhist sect of Jodo-shu (Pure Land Sect), which introduced teaching focused on the practice of praying “namuamidabutsu” (I sincerely believe in Amitabha. Lord have mercy on me.), an act which would supposedly relieve anyone of grievances and bring peace regardless of his/her rank. Honen, a monk who founded the sect, began his teaching and ended his life here. It is a holy place which honors an 840-year history of prayers. Its vast precinct, developed by the support of such powerful leaders as the third shogun of the Edo Shogunate, includes: Miei-do, a main hall which can hold as many as 2,000 worshippers (under restoration till 2019); San-mon, a temple gate which is one of the largest existing wooden architectural structures in Japan and designated as a National Treasure. The precincts in its entirety consists of 106 buildings designated as national Important Cultural Properties and no matter when you visit, you'll be overwhelmed by the surrounding seasonal beauty.
- 400 Rinkacho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
- Contact No.
- By train: 10-min walk from Exit 2, Higashiyama Station on Kyoto City Subway; or take City Bus Route 206 from JR Kyoto Station for 20 minutes and get off at Chion-in Mae, followed by a 5-min walk. By car: Get off Meishin Expressway at Kyoto Higashi IC, another 20 min (5 km) drive via Sanjo-dori
- Opening Hours / Holidays
Open all year round
Inquire before visiting as the hours and closed dates may alter temporarily.
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 30 minutes
- Admission fee
- Free admission to the precincts; 300 yen entrance fee to Yuzen-en, 400 yen to Hojo Garden.
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
San-mon, temple gate, is said to be the oldest existing wooden architectural structure in Japan. Its structure, 24-meter-tall and 50-meters-wide, is covered by a whopping 70,000 roof tiles. The upper part of the structure, serving as a hall preserving many Buddha statues, carries a solemn air.
Miei-do is a main hall of Chion-in which accommodates 2,000 worshipers. No entry is permitted until 2019 due to its restoration process but just looking at the grand architecture overwhelms the visitor. This majestic temple, 35 meters in depth and 45 meters in width, has welcomed countless worshippers over the past 400 years.
Hojo Teien is a garden developed in 1641 that surrounds two hojo (abbot chamber), large and small, that serve as living quarters for the monks. The reflection of the trees of the Higashiyama mountains situated in the back of the temple is seen on the water of the big pond. It is a perfect example of the sophistication Japanese have devised to present the beauty and elegance in their culture and art. This beautiful landscape, rich in ambiance specific to each season, will fascinate any visitor.