Chion-in is regarded as the most popular pilgrimage temple in Kyoto. It dates back to 1234 AD and is the headquarters of the Jodo (Pure Land) sect of Buddhism, the most popular in Japan. It is known for its grand scale, especially the main hall. The main hall, however, is under a multi-year massive renovation. No problem for me, as I found that the construction elements of the site were fascinating and I have documented them here.

The first impression of Chion-in is the two-story San-mon, the main entrance gate. It is the largest temple gate in all of Japan. Chion1Chion2

Then it’s up, up, up the long staircase. Chion3

As you reach the crest, you are primed to take in the massive main hall. But no, wait a minute – it looks more like a cool sake warehouse. What they’ve done is to completely encase the old temple with a new structure during renovation. Cons1Cons2Cons3Cons4

Here are all the new (or old and restored, there was no English information) roof tiles lined up ready to be installed.

The rest of the grounds yield some wonderful visuals. Chion4Chion5Chion6Chion7Chion8Chion9

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