Chishaku-in is the head temple of Shingon Buddhism Chizan Sect. This temple is less popular among tourists but it has excellent Shoheki-ga (Fusuma-e) paintings that are National Treasures, as well as a very good garden.
If you were interested in those arts, or if you visited more popular Sanjusangen-do and had time, go visit the temple and you would not regret.
Chishaku-in was founded in the 14th century as a sub-temple of Daidenpo-in that was established in Koyasan, Wakayama Prefecture by Priest Kakuban (1095-1144), in the year 1130. The mother temple then moved to Negorosan in Wakayama prefecture ten years later.
In the year 1585, Daidenpo-in, including its sub-temples, was totally destroyed by the actual ruler of the country, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598). Chief Priest of Chishaku-in, Genyu (Gen'yu, 1529-1605), who fled from the assault, had to wait until the Toyotomi family was destroyed and the Tokugawa family came to power. In the year 1601, the first Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu (1543-1616) gave a place to Genyu to revive Chishaku-in. Then, in the year 1615, Ieyasu gave them neighboring Shounzen-ji temple that had been founded by Hideyoshi in memory of his son Sutemaru who died in 1591 at the age of three.
The extant Shoheki-ga (or Fusuma-e) paintings (national treasures) were those displayed in Kyakuden building of Shounzen-ji. Chishaku-in suffered from several fires during its history and about half of the paintings were lost.
How to get there:
Kyoto City bus 208 or 206 from Kyoto Station to Higashiyama-Shichijo (please note that the bus stop may be called "Higashiyama-Nanajo" instead of "Shichijo"). It takes about 10 minutes.
Three minutes of walk from Sanjusangen-do.
To see the map of this area, click HERE.
Hours and Admission:
Click a photo to see a larger image.