Myoshin-Ji Temple in Hanazono, Kyoto

Myoshin-ji, the largest Zen temple in Kyoto, has the most typical arrangement of a large Zen temple. Chokushi-mon gate, San-mon gate, Butsuden hall and Hatto hall stand in a straight line.

The Rinzai-shu sect temple has about 40 sub-temples in its precinct and some others outside, which include ultra famous Ryoan-ji. Three of its sub-temples in the precinct are open to the public most of the year. These are Taizo-in, Keishun-in and Daishin-in.

On the ceiling of Hatto hall is a painting of a Dragon that is a masterpiece of Kano Tan'yu. The bell, a national treasure, is now being kept in Hatto hall. It is famous for its beautiful sound but only a recording can be heard.

History

In the year 1337, Ex-Emperor Hanazono's detached palace was converted into a Zen temple that was named Myoshin-ji..

In the year 1399, the Rinzai-shu sect temple was confiscated by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu who was enraged at revolt by a warlord related to the temple. Myoshin-ji was revived in the year 1432. The temple was reduced to ashes by fires of Onin civil war in 1467. In the year 1477, Ex-Emperor Tsuchimikado ordered to rebuild the temple. Construction of all the temple buildings were completed in 1658.

How to get there

  • 12 minutes from Kyoto station to Hanazono station on JR railway San'in Honsen line (Sagano Line). Then 7 minutes on foot to Minami-Somon (the south gate).
  • 3 minutes on foot to the north gate from Myoshin-ji station of Keifuku Railway Kitano Line.
  • 1 minute on foot to the north gate from Myoshin-ji-Kitamon-Mae bus stop of Kyoto City Bus No. 91 or 93, or JR Bus.
  • 4 minutes on foot to the south gate from Myoshin-ji-Mae bus stop of Kyoto City Bus No. 91 or 93, or Kyoto Bus No. 61, 62, 63 or 65.

Hours and Admission

The precinct is free for admission

Guided Tour to Hatto hall and the steam bath house:

Note: They occasionally close the tour so ask the temple beforehand.

9:10 - 11:40 (every 20 minutes)
12:30
13:00 - 15:40 (every 20 minutes)

A person older than those listed below: 500 yen
Junior High School Students (7th to 9th graders): 300 yen
Elementary schoolchildren (1st to 6th graders): 100 yen

Photos / Pictures

Click on a photo for a larger image.

Minami So-mon Chokushi-mon A stone bridge and Hojo-chi pond
Minami So-mon, the south front gate of Myoshin-ji.
January 17, 2009
Chokushi-mon gate on the left of Minami So-mon. This was built in 1610 and is an important cultural property.
January 17, 2009
A stone bridge and Hojo-chi pond that are in between Chokushi-mon and San-mon gates.
January 17, 2009
A line of buildings San-mon Back side of Sanmon
Cinnabar red Sanmon, Butsu-den and Hatto line up straight from south to north. This is the basic arrangement of a large Zen temple.
January 17, 2009
San-mon, an important cultural property, that was built in 1599. On the second floor are figures of Kan'non Bosatsu and 16 arhats (Buddhist saints). The ceiling, beams and pillars in the room are colorfully painted. Usually closed to the public.
January 17, 2009
Back side of Sanmon gate.
January 17, 2009
Butsu-den A structure under the eaves of Butsu-den Onigawara
Butsu-den. An important cultural property. Built in 1827. Closed to the public.
January 17, 2009
A structure under the eaves of Butsu-den.
January 17, 2009
Onigawara (gargoyle) on the roof of Butsu-den.
January 17, 2009
A window of Butsuden Hatto, a lecture hall O-Hojo.and Kara-mon
A window of Butsuden. This type of window is called Kato-mado.
January 17, 2009
Hatto, a lecture hall, that was built in 1656. This is a important cultural property. Guided tour to this hall and the steam bath house are available.
January 17, 2009
O-Hojo.and Kara-mon in front of it. O-Hojo, an important cultural property, was built in 1654.
January 17, 2009
Kyozo A steam bath house A Belfry
Kyozo, a storehouse for volumes of sutra and other important books.
January 17, 2009
A steam bath house that is called Akechi-buro.
January 17, 2009
A Belfry.
January 17, 2009
Stone paved path A belfry of a sub-temple Kita So-mon
Stone paved path between white walls of sub-temples of Myoshin-ji.
January 17, 2009
A belfry of a sub-temple of Myoshin-ji.
January 17, 2009
Kita So-mon, the north gate.
January 17, 2009