According to temple legend, Fujiwara no Mototsune, the Kanpaku (highest ranking officer) of the time, founded the temple in the early Heian period (late 9th century). At that time, it was Gokurakuji temple of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. Gokurakuji temple is mentioned in “Fujino Uraba,” 33rd chapter in the Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari).
The temple was converted to Nichiren Buddhism in 1307 at the end of the Kamakura period.
Hotoji Temple architecture
The ground of the temple is located in the middle of Mt. Shichimenzan. There are the oldest main hall of Nichiren Shoshu in Kyoto, the main gate, the oldest pagoda in the city, and these are important cultural properties. It also contains the vermilion Niomon Gate, Shichimen Daimyojin Shrine on the mountain, and seven sub-temples.
Famous Fusimi Inari Taisha Shrine is easily accessible.
If you are interested in the works by Ito Jakuchu, don’t miss the Sekihoji Temple.