The classically curved eaves, ceremonial steps and oversized two-story gateway mark Chion-in Temple as something special, even in temple-filled Kyoto.
The main temple of the Jodo school of Buddhism, Chion-in is a very grand affair, focusing on the huge main hall and its image of the sect’s founder, Hōnen. Another building houses a renowned statue of the Buddha.
The beautiful temple gardens are a sight in their own right, threaded with stone paths, steps and Zen water gardens. The view from the Hojo Garden is particularly worth catching.
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Chion-in is north of Maruyama Park in southeast Kyoto. Buses run to Chion-in from the city center, and the closest train station is a 10-minute walk away at Higashiyama.