Chionji Temple in Kyoto

Please activate Javascript.

Domo arigato.
  • Mieido Hall of Chionji Temple in Kyoto

    Mieido Hall, Chionji Temple in Kyoto

  • Cherry Blossom and Lantern at Chionji Temple in Kyoto

    Cherry Blossom and Lantern (toro), Chionji Temple in Kyoto

  • Entrance Gate Chionji Temple in Kyoto

    Entrance Gate, Chionji Temple in Kyoto

  • Chionji Temple in Kyoto

    Chionji Temple in Kyoto

  • Chionji Temple in Kyoto

    Chionji Temple in Kyoto

  • Chionji Temple in Kyoto

    Hall, Chionji Temple in Kyoto

  • Belfry at Chionji Temple in Kyoto

    Belfry, Chionji Temple in Kyoto

  • Chionji Temple in Kyoto

    Chionji Temple in Kyoto

Show map

Show gallery

This post can contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

Facts & Figures

Chion-ji Temple, also known as Hyakumanben Chion-ji, is one of the seven major Pure Land (Jodo Shu) Buddhist head temples. It is the most popular and widely practiced branch of Buddhism in Japan with deep roots in Kyoto. At the temple grounds you will see many buildings designated as Important Cultural Properties like Gautama Buddha Hall, Amitabha Hall and the so-keyaki-zukuri style Image Hall. The place is also known for the big flea market (more than 300 stalls), which happens every month on the 15th. Best Ryokans in Kyoto Explore Ryokans in Kyoto >
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions.

  • Chion-ji Temple:
  • Opening Hours - 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • Closed - open whole year
  • Admission Fee - free

My tips for local activities

Explore the best parts of my favourite city Kyoto with a local guide. The personalized tour can take between 2 - 8 hours. Check out this page > for more details.

History

Chion-ji Temple (Temple of Wisdom and Blessings) was established by the sect's founding priest Honen (1133 – 1212). After a strong earthquake hit Kyoto in 1331 the city saw the outbreak of a disease. At that time head priest Zenna Kuen made during a period of 7 days one million prayers with the words - Namu Amida Butsu - to get rid of the epidemic situation. To honour these successful efforts Emperor Go-Daigo (1288 - 1339) gave the tempe the name Hyakumanben (means one million times). Every month there are hyakumanben prayer ceremonies held at the temple. Chion-ji was relocated several times in the past before this current spot was selected in 1662.

Location

Map of Japan

Chion-ji Temple temple is located in the northeastern part of Kyoto within the Sakyo Ward nearby the Kyoto University and Jorinji Temple.
Address: 103 Tanaka Monzencho, Sakyo-ku, 606-8225 Kyoto

How to get to Chion-ji Temple?

  • 25min from Kyoto Station by bus 206 or 17 to Hyakumanben bus stop and
  • 4min walk from Hyakumanben bus stop to Chion-ji Temple

Sightseeing spots at the temple grounds

Top:

Main Hall (Mieido) - The large main hall is dating back to 1756. Inside you will see a wooden statue of priest Honen and 2 scrolls (The Immortals Liu Haichan and Li Tieguai) painted on silk by the 13th century Yuan-dynasty (1271–1368) painter Yan Hui (Ganki), which are treasures of the Chion-ji temple and designated as Important Cultural Properties of Japan. Important: The 2 scrolls can be seen now in a exhibition at the Kyoto National Museum.

Zen garden - To commemorate the 800th anniversary of Honen's death in 2012 this garden was created near the Abbot Hall.

Festival & Events in Kyoto (dates can change without notice)

April

Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).

May

Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.

July

Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).

October

Autumn Secondhand Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple (end of Oct - beginning of Nov)
This fair is held by Kyoto Kosho Kenkyukai (Kyoto Secondhand Book Club) and attracts large crowds every year.

Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

Every Month

Tezukuri Ichi (Hyakumanben Handicraft Market) at Chion-ji Temple (15th)
The flea market (Hyakumanben Tetsukuri Ichi) is one of the three largest flea markets in Kyoto. Enjoy the huge selection of unique handcrafted items. The first Hyakumanben Handicraft Market was held in 1987. The market is open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Hyakumanben prayer ceremonies at Chion-ji Temple (15th)
Visitors can join the ceremony for free. You will stand with worshippers in a circle and pass along a 110 meter long juzu (Buddhist rosary, an ancient prayer tool) with in total 1080 prayer beads. Important: Only in August this event happens on the 25th.

My 100 Best Moments in Japan

Yokohama Street Scene

I have visited Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favorite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.
Find out more >

Books about Japan

My recommended books about Japan

Reading books is a great source of inspiration for me. Check out my recommended list of books about the fascinating country Japan.
My Book recommendations >