Today we’re going to introduce the best spot to experience the refreshing fresh green in Kyoto.
It’s called ‘Honen-in’ where I visited a weeks ago. This place is named after a legendary priest Honen.
(‘garan’, the main cathedral, is specially opened to the public twice a year; Apr. 1-7, Nov. 1-7)
This temple is located near Path of Philosophy, and has quiet, noble atmosphere with only few pedestrians around, except for high season. You’ll find out that so many writers, artists and scholars had fallen in love with this place, on walking through the graves of well-known Japanese writers such as Junichi Tanizaki and Hajime Kawakami in the temple.
You can feel the summer-breeze-running forest in the day time. The tender sound of leaves makes you want to stay there forever.
A big root of a tree is running across the path. Now let’s hop over it not to ruin it, like the news of thousands-year-old tree spoiled by visitors stepping on its root.
The way ahead, you can see a gate with a thatched roof. Can you imagine the world after going through the gate?
The terrace of silver-white sand appears. The visitors are purified by passing through two sand mounds on either sides of the path, that leads to the temple. The sands have various seasonal patterns sculpted on them.
Also I found a hall next to the terrace. The temple buildings have a small gallery where frequent exhibitions featuring local and international artists are held.
Ahead of hall, you’ll see the beautiful garden surrounded by green. I’m sure that it’s worth visiting even if you don’t enter the ‘garan’ (cathedral).
The sound of temple bell suddenly got me to find out it’s already 4PM, when the gate would close. Though the place is packed during high seasons, it’s one of Kyoto’s hidden pleasures throughout the year..
A lovely, secluded temple with carefully raked gardens set back in the woods.
It takes 25 minutes from Bijuu.
(Take 32 line at Shijo-Kawaramachi sta. to the Minamida-cho sta.(25min)
then walk towards the mountain (5min))
location : 〒606-8422 30, Goshonodan-cho, Shikanodani, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
TEL : 075-771-2420
Entrance : Free
Opening hours : 6:00～16:00