2. View the sights of Kyoto
  3. Hounen-in



Hounen is the name of a Buddhist priest who founded the Pure Land sect of Buddhism. In 12th century, Hounen founded Hounen-in Temple with his pupils in order to train themselves and pray for to the Buddha. The Pure Land sect got famous later but other priests in different sects of Buddhism and the government didn’t like such situation so they started to oppress it. Finally, Hounen was exiled from Kyoto at the begging of 13th century because the retired Emperor’s lady court visited Hounen‘s pupils and asked them to accept her as a priest, which made the retired Emperor angry. Then this temple got ruined. However, priests in Chion-in Temple, which is the head temple of the Pure Land sect, reconstructed Hounen-in Temple in 1689 when the Pure Land sect of Buddhism was getting accepted by many people. Hounen-in Temple is one of Kyoto’s hidden pleasures. Passing through the gate, you can see a lovely, secluded temple with carefully raked gardens set back in the woods.