Honen-in
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles289 reviews
Excellent
127
Very good
118
Average
40
Poor
4
Terrible
0

carloscharmy
Bangkok, Thailand780 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
Hōnen-in Temple is a hidden treasure in Kyoto! The peaceful morning visit allowed me to savor the serene ambiance undisturbed. The simple yet beautiful entrance sets the tone for the authentic Zen experience that follows. A profound and personal connection with the temple's tranquility awaits, making it a cherished memory.
Written 21 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve C
Canton of Vaud, Switzerland325 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
This small Edo period temple lies a 10 minute walk east of the Philosophers Walk. I visited the temple at the end of November 2007, just as the Maple Leaves were in their golden and red shades.

You reach the temple by either a wide winding path or a short series of stairs, from a small lane. Both of these routes raise you quickly from the road into the trees. Soon you see the entrance to the temple which is of itself charming and delightful. A raised, thatched gateway stands before you, framing the flaming autumn colours of leaves behind it. You stand in the hope that you can perfectly frame the entrance for a photo, for THE photo, but alas the numbers of people ensure that you do not see the gate pure and inviolate.

Walking inside, and descending once you have walked through the gate, you enter the small enclosure in which the temple stands. Trees and raised beds surround the small buildings.

As you may have gathered the entrance gate is possibly the main reason why one would visit the temple. But the temple as a whole is worth visiting and is a delightful distraction from the Philosophers Walk.

Well worth the detour.
Written 1 February 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thomas H
Greifswald, Germany25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2012 • Couples
I visited quite a few of the temples in Kyoto, but this one was my favorite. There are certainly bigger, more impressive ones, but none compare to Honen-in in terms of tranquility. There are very few tourists, and not too many locals, either - it really feels as being in a holy place.
Written 22 October 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wanderlust7342
HCMC127 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Solo
This is like the anti-Ginkaku-ji. No flash, no hoards, no admission, no commercialization. It’s just a quiet, unassuming little temple in the woods and an opportunity for some repose after Ginkaku-ji. It’s a place you go to feel, rather than to see.

You kind-of have to stumble on it. There are no signs or Sanmon gate. There’s only a non-descript set of stairs off the street and your curiosity. From Ginkaku-ji, make a left at the Philosopher’s Path, walk several minutes and look for streets on the left that feed off the Path. One will be to Honen-in.

The first thing you come upon, after the stairs, is a small, moss covered, thatched-roof Sanmon gate of sorts. It’s disarming and charming and sets the tone for the rest of the visit. You’ll pass two rectangular mounds of sand, each with a raked-in pattern, which the only other visitor (an elderly Japanese man) told me are meant to symbolize water to purify your mind and body. They were the only evidence that this was not an abandoned temple, which would not be an unreasonable conclusion given its state.

There’s a stone bridge over water, then a stone walkway into a very small complex. There are a few small structures, stone fountains, a cave-like shrine with a Buddha set inside and a lot of moss.

If you're heading down the road from Ginkaku-ji, it's definitely worth stopping by.
Written 4 November 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Frank J
110 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Solo
This is a Beautiful and very peaceful place and I love it here, its very small but very interesting, when your here just listen...all you here is birds singing and the fresh air. This is my second visit the last time was 2017 and its still marvelous and so very well looked after, The Japanese have fantastic style.

There's a small pond with fish in and a tiny bridge over it & all the woodland
is fascinating

See my photos

Highly Recommended
Written 27 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

laurelee36
Dallas, TX149 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Family
The long elegant tree covered wide walkway up to the temple puts you in a relaxing mood. Once inside the grounds there are some unique features to see. And there is usually some type of art exhibit with items for sale, also. The last 2 times we went it was pottery. Usually not crowded - the whole world seems to be at nearby Ginkakuji instead. We didn't pay to go inside - just enjoyed the pond/area outside. Tip: there is a restroom here...it's hidden on the left side in the back. Bus tip: after exiting head to the left and there is a bus stop for the 100 tourist loop bus. You can get on here before the whole world tries to get on at the next stop which is Ginkakuji.
Written 8 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erkki N
Finland884 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2016 • Family
Honen-in is right next to Ginkaku-ji but still off the beaten track. South of Ginkaku-ji, take a winding road uphill to one of the most beautiful temple gates: small, simple, thatched, in the shadow of large trees, and in the middle of their roots. A couple of stone steps lead to the gate and behind that there are two sand mounds shaped on the ground. We walked in and admired the beauty inside. Combination of the mounds with the gate in the background and Japanese maples over them is one of the most beautiful images I have seen anywhere in Kyoto. And the competition is pretty tough there... Extra note for my fellow cheapos: there is no entrance fee here. Can't recommend enough: If you plan to visit Ginkaku-ji, take the small detour to see Honen-in gate and sand mounds!
Written 19 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MillennialTraveler
London, UK269 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Couples
Just off the Philosophers walk, this was one of the quietest temples - but by far one of the best. Less crowds, more time to appreciate the grounds without being ushered on by the next tourist looking for "the" photo. Beautiful in cherry blossom season.
Written 18 May 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jo_Aberdeen_UK
Aberdeen, UK586 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Couples
Well it surprises me how far down the list of attraction this temple is, probably because not many people visit, but they are missing out. This was one of our favourites. Its seated deep in the woods just off philosophers pass, and its the setting that makes it so stunning. We were the only people there and it was eery and tranquil at the same time
Written 14 June 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DDS.LO
Taipei, Taiwan435 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2012
This small temple has the calm and peaceful atmosphere located aside the path of philosophy.
Written 31 January 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Honen-in, Kyoto

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