Honman-ji is a famous temple where your heart will be stolen by the fleeting cherry blossoms of spring
You can find Honman-ji Temple (Honmanji) in a quiet residential district in the Demachiyanagi area, close to Shimogamo Shrine and the Kamo River. The temple has an air of serenity surrounding it. It’s already been around 600 years since the establishment of Honman-ji Temple. The temple is the head temple of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism. During the Edo period, the high priest of Honman-ji, Nippo, prayed for the recovery fo the eight shogun of the Tokugawa clan, Toshimune. Yoshimune got better, and after this Honman-ji Temple was known as a praying place of the shogunate. The highlight of Honman-ji, a temple a visitor to Kyoto should go to, is the big weeping cherry tree. This one-hundred-year old cherry tree is related to the famous, huge cherry tree of Maruyama Park. The sight of this huge cherry tree which looks as if it were reaching for the skies is enough to make anyone feel overpowered. The tree looks beautiful from every angle, but my personal recommendation is go under it, and then from there look at the cherry blossoms raining down on the ground. Honman-ji is not only beautiful in spring, however, as you can also view tree peonies and autumn leaves at the temple. Honman-ji may not be big, but it is a nice spot off the beaten path where you can enjoy the four seasons of Kyoto in a quiet and calm atmosphere.
Huge weeping cherry tree
Huge weeping cherry tree
Entering through the west gate, you get to see this magnificent cherry tree. This tree is a weeping cherry tree, called shidarezakura in Japanese, and it blooms a little bit earlier than most cherry trees in Kyoto. The contrast between the blue sky and the pink cherry blossoms make for a splendid and majestic sight.
Many temples offer temple seals or stamps called “Goshuin,” but at temples of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism those who believe in the teachings of Nichiren can get a Goshudai seal. The seal in the picture is actually a sticker, so it can be glued to your “Goshuincho” notebook. This special cherry blossom motif-seal is only available in spring. In other seasons the monks will handwrite it to your Goshuincho.
Don't forget to visit the temple’s main hall
3Good Experiences
Don't forget to visit the temple’s main hall
Before enjoying the splendid cherry blossoms, please pay your respects at the temple. Press your palms together in front of your chest without making any noise and bow once. By greeting the Buddha, you will experience emotional peace and be even more moved at the sight of the beautiful cherry blossoms.
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -

Tips - Honman-ji

Cherry trees are susceptible to disease. Oil from hands can cause disease, so please do not touch the cherry tree. We ask that everyone be considerate so that this magnificent cherry tree can continue to provide enjoyment for many years to come.

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Overseas Tourist-Friendly
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Honman-ji is a small temple on the northern side of the Kyoto Imperial Palace with a charming garden. But the main attraction here has to be the huge cherry tree in the middle of the Japanese garden. The cherry tree is 96 years old and has a solemn, almost stately feel to it. This temple is well known among locals, but not that much among foreign tourists, so it shouldn't get too crowded even during the cherry blossom season.
3.2 experience3.0 access3.5 photogenic3.0
I have never seen such dynamic and beautiful cherry blossoms before! The sight of just a single tree magnificently blooming is really moving to see. I heard that, starting from 2018, there will be a collaboration event with the shopping street nearby during cherry blossom season and an event where visitors can relax and enjoy the cherry blossoms will be held.
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Honman-ji Temple / 本満寺
Category Temples & Shrines
Phone +81 75-231-4784
Address 16 Teramachidori, Imadekawaagaru, 2 Chome Tsurugiyamacho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
Directions Take Keihan Electric Railway from Kyoto Station, and get off at Demachiyana Station. From there it is an 8-minute walk to Honman-ji. Or you can take the subway and get off at Imadegawa Station from where the temple is a 15-minute walk away. Another way of getting to the temple is to take Kyoto City Bus #205, and then getting off at Aoibashi-Nishizume, from where it is a 3-minute walk to the temple.
Open Hours 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Reservations No.
Closed Open every day.
Price range
Credit cards Not accepted
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
English reception is available to some extent
Information Japanese
Lanuages spoken Japanese
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