Sunday, 19 May 2013

Chion-in Temple

Chion-in Temple was built in 1234 CE to honor the founder of Jodo (Pure Land) Buddhism, a priest named Honen, who fasted to death in the very spot. At one point in time, the complex had 21 buildings but due to earthquakes and fire, the oldest surviving building is from the 17th century.

Visitors to the Chion-in Temple must first pass through the largest gate in Japan: the two-story San-mon Gate. The temple bell is also a record setter: it weighs 74 tons and needs 17 monks to ring it during the New Year celebrations.

Another interesting feature of the Chion-in Temple is the "singing" floor of the Assembly Hall. Called a uguisu-bari or nightingale floor, the wooden planks were designed to creak at every footstep to alert the monks of intruders!


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