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Honen-in Temple

This is a shrine devoted to a peaceful and learned environment with an impressive gate, natural greenery and a serene atmosphere.

The focus at the Honen-in Temple is on a tranquil and serene atmosphere rather than aesthetic beauty. It must be said, however, that its gates are stunning in fall amid multicolored leaf displays. Honen-in is known not only for its serenity, but also for exhibitions and concerts. Despite Kyoto’s well-known heat waves, the complex is cool and comfortable due to woodland shelter.

Visit the Hojo building to admire the Shoheki-ga paintings, which date back to the 16th century. Tread the steps to Somon Gate among the greenery of the woods. The entrance is particularly picturesque in fall, with a vibrant spectrum of autumnal colors. Admire the water spring, Zenki-sui, in the garden. The legend goes that the priest Nincho speared the ground, causing water to spurt eternally.

Take in the changing patterns in the mounds of sand either side of the entrance path. These represent the body and the soul. See displays and concerts in the Lecture Hall. Remove your shoes to enter the main hall. If you are lucky, there will be an interesting lecture taking place. Admire the wooden statues. Check out the innovative Shishiodoshi device to scare away intruding deer: a hollow bamboo pole fills with water and hits the ground with a warning thud every couple of minutes. Several important Japanese persons are buried in the graveyard at the south entrance.

The complex is open to visitors year-round from early morning until afternoon, but some of the buildings can only be seen for a couple of weeks annually, in April and November. There is a charge for entry. The complex was part of the Jodo-shu sect of Buddhism, which was considered evil by purist Buddhists. Now the temple is independent.

The Honen-in Temple is situated in the Higashiyama region in the northeast of Kyoto. It is near the Ginkaku-ji Temple and a pleasant stone trail called the Philosopher’s Walk. Take a Kyoto City Bus toward Iwakura to Jodo-ji, which is a short walk from the shrine. Minamida bus stop is also close. Buses go there from Shijō Kawaramachi.


Guide to Exploring around Honen-in Temple


Lodging Near Honen-in Temple

See all 3,088 properties near Honen-in Temple
Guest House Aoi Nakamoto

Guest House Aoi Nakamoto

    2.5 out of 5.0
     
     

    Located in Sakyo Ward, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Philosopher's Walk and Kyoto University. Heian Shrine and Nanzenji Temple are also within ...

    Guest House Aoi NakamotoAU$91

    Villa Honen-in Nishi

    Villa Honen-in Nishi

      2.5 out of 5.0
       
       

      Located in Sakyo Ward, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Shinnyo-do Temple, Philosopher's Walk and Honen-in Temple. Temple of the Silver ...

      Villa Honen-in NishiAU$474

      Ginkakuji Vacation is Just the Place for You! 1 Minute to Philosopher's Path

      Ginkakuji Vacation is Just the Place for You! 1 Minute to Philosopher's Path

      Ginkakujimaecho 17, Kyoto, Kyoto (prefecture)
         
         

        Located in Sakyo Ward, this historic holiday home is within a 10-minute walk of Temple of the Silver Pavilion and Philosopher's Walk. Kyoto University and Heian ...

        Ginkakuji Vacation Home New Opening - Ginkakuji Vacation Home / Kyoto Kyoto

        Ginkakuji Vacation Home New Opening - Ginkakuji Vacation Home / Kyoto Kyoto

        Sakyo-ku Ginkakujimaecho 17, Kyoto, Kyoto (prefecture)
           
           

          Located in Sakyo Ward, this holiday home is within a 10-minute walk of Temple of the Silver Pavilion and Philosopher's Walk. Kyoto University and Heian Shrine ...

          Hostel Ginkakuji

          Hostel Ginkakuji

            1.0 out of 5.0
             
             

            Located in Sakyo Ward, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto University and Philosopher's Walk. Heian Shrine and Nanzenji Temple are also within 2 ...

            Hostel GinkakujiAU$22

            Teppanyaki House

            Teppanyaki House

              3.0 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in Sakyo Ward, this holiday home is within a 10-minute walk of Eikando Temple, Nanzenji Temple and Philosopher's Walk. Heian Shrine and Kyoto University ...

              Kyoto Yura Hotel - MGallery

              Kyoto Yura Hotel - MGallery

              84 OHASHICHO, Kyoto
                4.5 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nishiki Market and Chion-in Temple. Heian Shrine and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within ...

                Kyoto Yura Hotel - MGalleryAU$215

                Aoi Philosophers Path Villa

                Aoi Philosophers Path Villa

                  3.5 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in Sakyo Ward, this holiday home is within a 10-minute walk of Eikando Temple and Nanzenji Temple. Heian Shrine and Philosopher's Walk are also within ...

                  *Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
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