The history of Hokongo-in (法金剛院) starts in 824 when a minister built a villa on the present location of the temple. Like many villas, it was converted to a temple after his owner's death. The temple was frequently visited buy successive emperors and around 850 emperor Montoku decided to build a large monastry at the small temple location. The current temple name comes from an emperess who restored the temple 200 years later and called it Hokongo-in - the "temple of the diamond law".
Hokongo-in went through a few more cycles of prosperity until a large earthquake damaged the temple in 1573. Few buildings were restored. The current main hall dates from the early 17th century. Another important change was the widening of the Marutamachi road in 1939, which required a few buildings to be moved in the northern part of the temple.
The temple is easily accessed from the JR Hanazono station (花園駅): from the north exit simply cross the street and walk left for a hundred meters. The temple buildings and the gardens are not particularly impressive unless you come at the right time of the year, when many kind of flowers bloom around the pond. Hokongo-in can be a nice place to visit before going to the Myoshin-ji 妙心寺 temple complex which is basically next door. Further north lieNinna-ji 仁和寺 and Toji-in 等持院 as well as the infamous Ryoan-ji 龍安寺 and Kinkaku-ji 金閣寺.
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Nearby: Taizō-in 退蔵院 (390m), Ryōsen-an 龍泉庵 (460m), Shōtaku-in 聖澤院 (490m), Kōbai-in 衡梅院 (530m), Tōkai-in 東海院 (560m), Daihō-in 大法院 (580m), Shunkō-in 春光院 (600m), Myōshin-ji 妙心寺 (610m), Daishin-in 大心院 (630m), Tokuun-in 徳雲院 (630m),...
External links: ウィキペディア, Wikipedia, Kyoto Navi, Trip Advisor, Kyoto Design, 京都風光, Marutake, そうだ京都, Satellite view, Map
Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kyoto, 京都, 右京, Ukyo-ku, Hokongo-in, temple, 寺院, 仏閣, 法金剛院