This temple is hard to miss, with its giant camphor trees growing just outside the walls. Fortunately, most tourists march right on...
Maruyama-kōen is a favourite of locals and visitors alike. This park is the place to come to escape the bustle of the city centre and...
This is one of the largest Buddhist graveyards in Kyoto. It's an atmospheric (if spooky) place for a walk.
This approachable and friendly okonomiyaki restaurant on Sanjō, close to Nanzen-ji and other popular northern Higashiyama sights, is an...
400 Rinka-chō, Higashiyama-ku · interesting places nearby
A collection of soaring buildings and spacious courtyards, Chion-in serves as the headquarters of the Jōdo sect, the largest sect of Buddhism in Japan. It's the most popular pilgrimage temple in Kyoto and it's always a hive of activity. For visitors with a taste for the grand, this temple is sure to satisfy.
Chion-in was established in 1234 on the site where Hōnen, one of the most famous figures in Japanese Buddhism, taught his brand of Buddhism (Jōdo, or Pure Land, Buddhism) and eventually fasted to death.
The oldest of the present buildings date to the 17th century. The two-storey San-mon , a Buddhist temple gate at the main entrance, is the largest temple gate in Japan and prepares you for the massive scale of the temple. The immense main hall contains an image of Hōnen. It's connected to another hall, the Dai Hōjō , by a 'nightingale' floor (that sings and squeaks at every move, making it difficult for intruders to move about quietly).
Up a flight of steps southeast of the main hall is the temple's giant bell , which was cast in 1633 and weighs 70 tonnes. It is the largest bell in Japan. The bell is rung by the temple's monks 108 times on New Year's Eve each year.