Hogon-in is a beautiful temple in Arashiyama which looks pretty in green in spring and exceptional in autumn with the autumn foliage
Hogon-in Temple (Hogonin) is a sub-temple of the most famous temple in Arashiyama, Tenryu-ji Temple. This quiet temple is only open to the public two times a year, in spring when the green leaves are pretty, and in autumn when the vivid autumn leaves are beautiful. Just a short walk away from Tenryu-ji Temple which is always busy with tourists, you can get to this quiet small temple. There are many plants and flowers in the garden of the temple, and you can enjoy this strolling garden by following the path that goes around it, and although the temple and the garden are not that big, I am sure you will enjoy both. If you head to Arashiyama, don’t forget about Hogon-in Temple.
Shishiku no Niwa
This garden uses Mt. Arashiyama as its background. The name of the garden, Shishiku, means “Buddha giving a sermon” and it is said that by walking in the garden, listening to the sounds of the wind and birds, you can get to know the true meaning of life and calm your soul. The beautiful green moss of the garden is meticulously taken care of and matches perfectly with the stones and trees of the garden.
In spring and autumn when the garden is open, it is also possible to see the main hall of the temple, and the fusuma-e, or sliding door paintings, on the sliding doors made by the Japanese “western-style painter” Noriko Tamura called “Fugasansa Sansanjizai.” On these sliding door paintings, you can see 33 reincarnations of Kannon Bosatsu or Guanyin, and the paintings stretch out onto 58 sliding doors. These paintings use the color red a lot which is rare for sliding door paintings. Entrance to the main hall costs 500 yen and you cannot take pictures inside.
Enjoy the autumn leaves
Besides the spring greenery, I would also like you to see the autumn leaves. There are many maple trees in the garden, and in autumn they turn into vivid reds and yellows. There are many great places to see autumn leaves in Kyoto, but even among them, I would like to recommend the garden of Hogon-in Temple.
Enjoy matcha tea at the tea room
There is a place where you can enjoy a cup of matcha tea and a Japanese sweet at the temple for a small fee. You can look at the many plants and flowers of the garden while you drink your tea and relax. There is also a notebook where you can leave your comments, so how about writing something and making it a memento of your trip?