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Chion-in temple

Chion-in templeMap of GionChion-in is the main temple of Pure Land Buddhism (Jodo-shu), one of the major schools in Japanese Bhuddism.
It is located about 0.6 km northeast of Yasaka Shrine, and there is Maruyama Park to the south.

The founder of Jodo-shu was priest Honen (1133-1212).
He had trained in Enryakuji temple on Mount Hiei.
He read the book written by Chinese high priest Shan-tao (613-681) who was the founder of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism, and his eyes were opened to the Pure Land Buddhism.
Then he left from Enryakuji to found first Japanese Pure Land Buddhism in 1175.

Since then, he had been lived in a small temple in the current site.
During his lifetime, he was persecuted by the other schools of Buddhism, and he had been exiled from 1207 to 1211.
After he came back here finally, he died next year.

His small temple were saved by his disciples, but it was destroyed by the followers of Enryakuji temple in 1227.
But the temple was rebuilt in 1234, and Emperor Shijo gave the name "Chion-in" to this temple.

Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder of Edo Government and its first Shogun, was a follower of Jodo-shu, so he enlarged this temple from 1608.
Most of the current over 100 buildings were completed by 1641 in the time of Iemitsu Tokugawa, the 3rd Shogun.

Sanmon gate built in 1621 and Mieido (main hall) built in 1639 are designated as national treasures.
Seishido temple built in 1530 is the oldest building in this temple, and priest Honen had been lived around this place.

The 550-meter corridors connecting Mieido and the other buildings is unique.
When you walk on the floor, it sounds like a bird sings. It is called "nightingale floor".

How to get to here

By route bus

From Kyoto station, about 23 minutes to Chion-in mae stop, by bus with route No. 206.

Sanmon gate
Photo by Rettou-houmotsukan
Mieido temple
Photo by Rettou-houmotsukan
Amidado temple
Photo by Rettou-houmotsukan
Seishido temple
Photo by Rettou-houmotsukan
Great Bell Tower
Photo by Rettou-houmotsukan
Japanese garden in Chion-in

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