A quiet temple tied to the founder of the Pure Land sect
The thatched roofed gate of Honen-in Temple sits among the green surroundings of the philosopher’s path. Honen was a monk at the early Kamakura period and also founder of the Pure Land sect in 1175. He prayed to Amitabha, whose teaching was that if you chant the prayer of “Namuami dabutsu” to Amitabha, you will all go to Sukhavati (Paradise of Pure Land sect) after you die. In the Edo period, a monk from the Chion-in Temple established the temple as a Buddhist hall for chanting. The temple became independent of the pure land sect in 1953 to become its own original sect. The precinct of the temple is so quiet, so feel free to stroll around at your own pace.
Byakudasan
1Highlight
Byakudasan
There are two dry landscape gardens at both sides of the path leading to the gate. Ascetic monks of the temple maintain and change the patterns designed by themselves about once a month. This particular design is a floating leaf on a river. The patterns are changed according to the season, such as into cherry blossom and maple designs.
Hojo garden
2Highlight
Hojo garden
Look carefully for the white vase sitting on the pond. This vase is a piece of art by a designer from Shiga Prefecture. Although this piece of modern art stands out in this garden surrounded by nature, it works well to blend in with the surroundings.
Experience chanting “Namuami dabutsu”
3Good Experiences
Experience chanting “Namuami dabutsu”
Jizo bodhisattva is enshrined at the top of stone steps. The figure of the Buddha was made in 1690 and modeled after the head monk, Nincho. Please try and pray for it!
3.2 experience4.0 access2.0 photogenic3.5
Price
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
Erika
3.2 experience4.0 access2.0 photogenic3.5
This temple is a little known sightseeing spot close to Ginkaku-ji Temple. There are few people, and the atmosphere is quiet and relaxed. After going through the gate with thatched roof you get to the temple grounds surrounded by greenery. You don't need to pay an entrance fee to enter the temple so if you are in the area I recommend also visiting this temple.
3.7 experience4.5 access2.5 photogenic4.0
Price
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
LifeInSakyoku
Finland
3.7 experience4.5 access2.5 photogenic4.0
Honen-in Temple / 法然院
Category Temples & Shrines, Japanese Gardens
Phone +81 75-771-2420
Address 30, Shishigatani Goshonodancho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 606-8422
Directions ・5 minute-walk from Minamidacho bus stop by #32 Kyoto city bus from Hankyu Shijo-kawaramachi stn. ・10 minute-walk from Jodoji bus stop by #5 Kyoto city bus from JR Kyoto stn. or Keihan Sanjo stn.
Open Hours 9:30am - 5pm
Reservations Not accepted
Closed Open everyday
Price range
Credit cards Not accepted
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
There is a monk who speaks English, although not always there. You can easily get here from the famous sightseeing spot, philosopher’s path. There is no entrance.
Information Japanese only
Lanuages spoken Japanese, English (not always there)
URL1 http://www.honen-in.jp/
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