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Although not technical a part of Sakyō Ward, Honman-ji is easily reachable on foot from Demachi Yanagi and located in the northern part of Teramachi Street. Affiliated with the Nichiren school of Buddhism, the temple itself is (usually) not open to the public. However, the grounds (and the cemetery) are free to walk around. In late March, the otherwise quiet temple of Honman-ji gets rather crowded — for non-touristy standards — with photographers, the reason being the large wheeping cherry tree in front of the “kitchen” (庫裡) building. This tree, one of the first to bloom in Kyōto City, is a site to behold, and definitely worth checking out when visiting the city during this time. Two to three weeks later, after Sakura season has ended, Honman-ji is quiet again, but equally worth visiting. For now it is the season of Yae cherries (yaezakura 八重桜) and peonies (botan 牡丹). While the wheeping cherry is already in deep green colour, both yamazakura and peonies tint the grounds in very vivid colours that are unusual for Kyōto gardens. Admission: grounds accessible freely. Nearby places of interest: Shimogamo Shrine, Imperial Palace Park, Demachi Yanagi.
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A wheeping cherry in full bloom at Honman-ji, late March.

Spring / 春
Yae Cherry / 八重桜
Peonies and Fresh Green / 牡丹と新緑
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