After visiting Kiyomizu dera, we slowly make our way to Chion In temple (知恩院). Upon reaching, the first awesome sight we notice is the massive front gate, also known as the Sanmon (山門). In fact, Chion in temple’s Sanmon is the largest wooden gate in Japan.
Being the headquarters to one of the influential Buddhist sects in Japan – Jōdo-shū (浄土宗), the temple boost some spacious ground area and massive buildings.
After passing through the stunning Sanmon, the next thing that greets us is the steep stairs. The climb up to the main hall ain’t trivial but we managed.
Chion In Main Hall
Everything here seems to be on a grander scale – we’re impressed. The huge main hall is populated with praying devotees. One has to remove the shoes before entering the main hall where the priests are chanting. The squeaking floor board which we walk on was to prevent unwanted intruders in the past, and not because of some poor material used.
It is also possible to visit the top floor of Chion In temple’s Sanmon. I bought the ticket and proceed to the stairs. There is a dark room on top which houses Buddha statues (as shown on the ticket) but I can barely see them in the dimly lit room. Also, photography is strictly prohibited inside the room. Well, at least the view up here is good.
Where are the Geisha??
We continued walking towards Gion district and the famous Pontocho (先斗町) hopping to catch a glimpse of the Geisha. But sadly, we saw none…perhaps due to the heavy rain.