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The focus at the Honen-in Temple is on a tranquil and serene atmosphere rather than aesthetic beauty. It must be said, however, that its gates are stunning in fall amid multicolored leaf displays. Honen-in is known not only for its serenity, but also for exhibitions and concerts. Despite Kyoto’s well-known heat waves, the complex is cool and comfortable due to woodland shelter.
Visit the Hojo building to admire the Shoheki-ga paintings, which date back to the 16th century. Tread the steps to Somon Gate among the greenery of the woods. The entrance is particularly picturesque in fall, with a vibrant spectrum of autumnal colors. Admire the water spring, Zenki-sui, in the garden. The legend goes that the priest Nincho speared the ground, causing water to spurt eternally.
Take in the changing patterns in the mounds of sand either side of the entrance path. These represent the body and the soul. See displays and concerts in the Lecture Hall. Remove your shoes to enter the main hall. If you are lucky, there will be an interesting lecture taking place. Admire the wooden statues. Check out the innovative Shishiodoshi device to scare away intruding deer: a hollow bamboo pole fills with water and hits the ground with a warning thud every couple of minutes. Several important Japanese persons are buried in the graveyard at the south entrance.
The complex is open to visitors year-round from early morning until afternoon, but some of the buildings can only be seen for a couple of weeks annually, in April and November. There is a charge for entry. The complex was part of the Jodo-shu sect of Buddhism, which was considered evil by purist Buddhists. Now the temple is independent.
The Honen-in Temple is situated in the Higashiyama region in the northeast of Kyoto. It is near the Ginkaku-ji Temple and a pleasant stone trail called the Philosopher’s Walk. Take a Kyoto City Bus toward Iwakura to Jodo-ji, which is a short walk from the shrine. Minamida bus stop is also close. Buses go there from Shijō Kawaramachi.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is steps away from Kiyamachi Street and Pontocho. Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market are also within 10 minutes. Sanjo Keihan Station and Kyoto Sanjo Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Situated in the historical district, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Philosopher's Walk and Kyoto University. Heian Shrine and Nanzenji Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Keage Station is 21 minutes by foot and Higashiyama Station is 27 minutes.
Situated in Kyoto, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Shinnyo-do Temple, Philosopher's Walk and Honen-in Temple. Temple of the Silver Pavilion and Heian Shrine are also within 1 mi (2 km). Keage Station is 20 minutes by foot and Higashiyama Station is 27 minutes.
Situated in the historical district, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto University and Philosopher's Walk. Heian Shrine and Nanzenji Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kyoto Mototanaka Station is 20 minutes by foot and Kyoto Chayama Station is 21 minutes.
Located in Sanjo, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nishiki Market and Chion-in Temple. Heian Shrine and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within 2 mi (3 km). Sanjo Keihan Station and Kyoto Sanjo Station are within a 2-minute walk.
Situated in Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Eikando Temple, Nanzenji Temple and Philosopher's Walk. Heian Shrine and Kyoto University are also within 1 mile (2 km). Keage Station is 17 minutes by foot and Higashiyama Station is 23 minutes.
Situated on the boardwalk, this holiday home is within a 10-minute walk of Eikando Temple and Nanzenji Temple. Heian Shrine and Philosopher's Walk are also within 1 mile (2 km). Keage Station is 19 minutes by foot and Higashiyama Station is 25 minutes.
Located in the heart of Kyoto, this luxury ryokan is within a 10-minute walk of Yoshida Shrine and Kyoto University. Heian Shrine and Philosopher's Walk are also within 15 minutes. Higashiyama Station is 23 minutes by foot and Keage Station is 23 minutes.