Kyoto, Japan Oct. 01 Sun 5:17PM
A Kyoto Treasure
Chion-in is located in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto. Built in the 13th century, it is the head temple of the Jodo Buddhist sect. The colossal main gate, the Sanmon, was built in 1619, and is a designated National Treasure. It is the largest wooden gate in Japan. Japan's largest temple bell is also housed at Chion-in. The bell weighs 74 tons. The temple also has two guest houses built in 1641 called Ohojo and Kahojo, which are designated as Important Cultural Heritages properties.
The temple has some interestnig architectural features, like nightingale floors, which are squeaky floors that alert residents to intruders. These were installed so that when the Tokugawa family stayed at the temple, they would not be taken by surprise. The roof beams are also all carved with the Tokugawa shogunate family crest of three hollyhock leaves.