Chionin in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto is the headquarters of the Jodo-shu (Pure Land Sect), it was founded by Honen. He claimed that sentient beings can be reborn by reciting the nembutsu, Amida Buddha’s name. Many of the building at the temple are where Honen settled to disseminate his teachings and it is the site where he died. After Honen’s death, his disciples built this temple in memory of their master and to practice his teachings. Even the Tokugawa Shogunate Family in the Edo period was interested in these teachings, this temple has been popular among local people for many years.
At the Chionin Temple there is more than 30 assets such as architecture, statues and crafts that are designated as a National Important Cultural Assets and National Treasure. The main gate or the Sanmon is the one of the most famous assets here. The Sanmon was built in 1621, Hidetaka Tokugawa was the second Tokugawa Shogun, and the main gate was designated as a National Treasure in 2002. This is one of the largest wooden structures in Japan. The upper area is a Buddhist worship hall, Shakamuni Buddha and sixteen of his disciples are enshrined here. Unfortunately, this upper area is not accessible.
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The Yuzen garden, Sanmon, Hobutsuden, and Onnazaka at the Chionin Temple will be illuminated from November 3rd to December 4th to enjoy the contrast of the beautiful autumn leaves. During this time, Chionin Temple will be open from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM. Admission fee for adults is 800 yen and for elementary and junior high school students is 400 yen.
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Address: 400 Rinka-cho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
15 minute walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station
10 minute walk from Keihan Gion-Shijo Station
Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
500 yen (Adult)
250 yen (Child)
Website: Chionin Temple