Chion-in Temple, Kyoto

Chion-in Temple, Kyoto (must see)

The Chion-in temple is one of the most important sacred sites in Japan. It is the main temple of the Jodo-Shu or Pure Land sect of Buddhism.

The Chion-in Temple was built in 1234 by a Buddhist monk named Genchi. He was a disciple of the founder of the Pure Land sect, Honen. It was built on the location where Honen preached his philosophy to the common people and where he fasted unto death in 1212. The Jodo-Shu teachings became the most widely accepted Buddhist teachings in Japan. The Hollywood movie, 'The Last Samurai', was filmed at the Chion-in Temple. Most of the buildings were destroyed by fires and the present complex was built in the 17th century.

Visitors enter the Chion-in Temple through the largest gate in Japan, the 79 foot high San Mon. The large main hall can hold 3000 people. The corridor behind the main hall that leads to an Assembly Hall has a nightingale floor that makes a squeaking noise when a person walks on it. The 74-ton temple bell of the Chion Temple is the heaviest in Japan. A small shrine within the complex called the Mei- Do houses a statue of Honen. The statue is designated as one of the National Treasures of Japan.

Why You Should Visit:
The main building walk-up is a highlight as not many temples have the same size, nor are they open for visits.
The grounds are well preserved, making the visit enjoyable and even serene despite the number of tourists flocking here.
There is also access to the Kyoto Trail up into the hills at the back of the complex.

Tip:
It is possible to weave through the surrounding neighborhoods and see Kiyomizu-dera, Kodai-ji, Chion-in, and Nanzen-ji, among others, all in one day.
Keep in mind, however, that the area is quite hilly and that Chion-in will have lots of steps.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-4:30pm (entry until 4pm); temple grounds are always open

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Kyoto, Japan within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Chion-in Temple on Map

Sight Name: Chion-in Temple
Sight Location: Kyoto, Japan
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Higashiyama Area Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Kyoto, Japan

Create Your Own Walk in Kyoto

Create Your Own Walk in Kyoto

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kyoto is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Kyoto without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Kyoto, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.3 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Kyoto without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Kyoto, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 km
Ukyo-ku Walking Tour

Ukyo-ku Walking Tour

Ukyo-ku is one of the eleven wards of Kyoto and it comprises the northwestern corner of the city. This area contains a large number of important religious complexes, some of them listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most famous attractions of Ukyo-ku in Kyoto are selected and described in the next walking tour. So check it out and enjoy your Kyoto adventure.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.7 km
Walking Tour in Shimogyo Ward

Walking Tour in Shimogyo Ward

The ancient capital Kyoto embraces several aspects of Japanese culture, being packed with shrines, temples, museums and other interesting spots. Each ward of this city boasts its own cultural heritage, as does the Shimogyo area, located right in the heart of Kyoto. Discover Shimogyo's most popular attractions in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Higashiyama Area Walking Tour

Higashiyama Area Walking Tour

Kyoto is a city made for tourists, especially the ones with love for history, interest in religion and, of course, Japanese culture. Many of Kyoto's attractions are located in the eastern part of the city, which, in turn, is split into wards. One of them is the Higashiyama Ward, home to several famous temples of Kyoto, as well as the popular Gion geisha district. To find out more about Higashiyama, take this walking tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Central Kyoto Walking Tour

Central Kyoto Walking Tour

They say visiting Japan without seeing Kyoto is worthless, because a visit to Japan will never be complete without knowing Kyoto's treasures. A city of tradition, history, and culture, Kyoto has plenty of touristic spots to offer. The next walking tour takes you to the core of Kyoto and the main attractions of the city that are located in its central area. Enjoy!

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.4 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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