"Chion-in" Chion-in Temple Tip by bladedragon

Chion-in Temple, Kyoto: 7 reviews and 18 photos

by bladedragon

As the head temple of the Jodo (Pure Land) sect of Buddhism, Chion-in (or Chionin) in Kyoto is one of the most important sacred sites in Japan.
Pure Land Buddhism was founded in 1175 by the priest Honen, Chionin Temple was built in 1234 on the site where Honen fasted to death in 1212.

Due to earthquakes and fires, most of the present buildings date from the 17th century.
Its two-story San-mon (main gate, built in 1619) is Japan's largest temple gate at standing at 24 meters.
Chionin's temple bell (cast in 1633) is the heaviest in Japan, at 74 tons. It takes 17 monks to ring it at the New Year ceremony.

The corridor behind the Main Hall, which leads to the Assembly Hall, is an uguisu-bari (nightingale floor). This type of floor is constructed to "sing" at every footstep to warn the monks of intruders. You can walk underneath the corridor to examine the way the boards and nails are placed to create this inventive burglar alarm.

In October 2002, Chion-in Temple was used in the filming of the Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai. It was standing in for Edo Castle.

Admission fee is 400

Address: 400 Hayashi-***a-cho 3-chome, Yamato-oji, Higashi
Directions: From Kyoto station take Bus 206 to the Gion stop.
Located immediately north of Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine.

Phone: 075-531-2111
Website: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/japan/kyoto-chionin.htm

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 29, 2009
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