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Chion-in, the “monastery of gratitude,” is the head temple of the Jōdō sect of Pure Land Buddhism established by the monk Hōnen 法然 (1133–1212), Japan’s largest branch of Buddhism.
After passing the huge temple gate — the biggest in Kyoto (if I remember correctly) — and climbing several large stairs, a massive main hall welcomes the visitor. This temple really wants to show the visitor who the most important temple of Pure Land Buddhism is…
Several buildings and a Hōjō Garden invite the visitor to explore the world of Pure Land Buddhism, which differs sharply from the esoteric and Zen branch temples mostly found in Kyoto. For photographers, I recommend passing by the main hall and further climb up the stairs towards the cemetery. A small hall offers spectacular views over the city, and in autumn, maple trees cover the area in red colors.

Admission: temple grounds free, entrance fee for Hōjō Garden
Nearby places of interest: Yūzen-en, Shōren-in, Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine

The gate of Chion-in in spring.

The gate of Chion-in in spring.

Spring 春
Summer 夏
Autumn 秋
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