Thatched gate at Kyoto's Honen-in Temple

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Northern Higashiyama

Founded in 1680 to honour the priest Hōnen, this is a lovely, secluded temple with carefully raked gardens set back in the woods. The temple buildings include a small gallery where frequent exhibitions featuring local and international artists are held. If you need to escape the crowds that positively plague nearby Ginkaku-ji, come to this serene refuge.

Hōnen-in is a 12-minute walk from Ginkaku-ji, on a side street above the Path of Philosophy (Tetsugaku-no-Michi); there are wooden signposts pointing the way.

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