Chionin (知恩院) is located in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto and is the head temple of the Jōdo Shū (Pure Land Sect) of Buddhism. It has one of the largest wooden gates in Japan—50 meters wide and 24 metres tall with over 70,000 roof tiles—and has stood since 1621. The temple itself dates back to the late 12th century as a dedication to Hōnen (1133–1212), the founder of the sect of Buddhism to which the temple belongs.

The spacious grounds of the temple contain several structures (some of which are unfortunately closed to the public) and two Japanese gardens. The most important of the buildings is the Mieidō, a large hall that houses the image of Hōnen and is the center of the Choinin. Other structures include the Amida-dō (Amitabha Hall), the Shūedō (Assembly Hall), and the Seishidō (Seishi Hall), which dates back to 1530 and is the oldest building in Choinin.

The two Japanese gardens, Yūzen’en Garden and Hōjō Garden, are the other key attractions. The former contains a traditional dry stone garden as well as two teahouses.

Information
Location
400 Rinkachō, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-8686
« Google Maps »
Getting there
From JR Kyoto Station take the Kyoto City Bus (Route 206) and get off at the “Chion-in Mae” bus stop. From the bus stop, it is a five minute walk to Chion-in.
Details
Open from 9am to 3:50pm (gates close at 4:30pm)
Visitors can enter the temple grounds for free but there is a small charge for Yūzen’en Garden (300 yen) and Hōjō Garden (400 yen)
You May Also Like

Ninnaji

Ninnaji (仁和寺) is a temple in western Kyoto that dates back to the late 9th century. It is…

Yushima Tenmangu Shrine

Yushima Tenmangu is an important shrine in Bunkyo Ward that houses the spirit of Sugawara no Michizane, a…

Kanda Myojin

Beautiful 1,300 year-old shrine where two of the Seven Gods of Fortune are enshrined (Daikokuten and Ebisu) and the home of the Kanda Festival.

Gotokuji Temple

Gotokuji (豪徳寺, Gōtokuji) is a Buddhist temple in Setagaya Ward known primarily because of the hundreds of maneki-neko…