Unrin-in Temple (雲林院)

Today, Unrin-in Temple has only a small hall on the opposite side of the road from Daitokuji Temple and is virtually unvisited. However, this site is an important historical site in Murasakino Area during the Heian period.

At that time, this area was a vast wilderness where hunting was conducted. Emperor Junna (reigned 823-833) built a vast detached palace, Murasakino-in, here and made frequent visits. The area was known for its cherry blossoms and autumn foliage. And it was also the site of song and dance banquets with literati.

Later in 869, it became a government temple named Unrin-in. As a temple, Unrin-in was famous for its Bodai Ko. The historical tale “Okagami” is a tale of two old men, one 190 years old and the other 180 years old, who met at Bodaiko and had a talk with Bodaiko. Bodaiko, by the way, is a puja in which the Lotus Sutra (Hokekyo) is preached in order to seek rebirth in paradise.

The name of Unrin-in appears in “The Tale of Genji” and “The Tale of Ise. It is also famous as a “utamakura” in the “Kokinshu” and later works. The song “Unrin-in” was composed in memory of those days.

However, the temple’s power gradually declined, and in the Kamakura period (1185-1333), Daitokuji Temple was built on this site. At that time, this temple became its sub-temple. Later, the temple was destroyed by fire during the Onin War. It was finally rebuilt in 1707 as a Daitokuji temple’s sub-temple. The present Kannon-do was built at that time.

Kyoto City Official Travel Guide

Nearby spots from Unrin-in Temple

Cross the road and you are immediately at Daitokuji Temple. Unrin-in is one of Daitoku-ji’s sub-temples, but due to the construction of a road, it is separated from the Daitokuji precincts.

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  1. […] of Murasaki Shikibu and Ono-no Takamura is located in the former precincts of Unrin-in Temple. Today, Unrin-in is only a small hall and is one of the sub-temples of Daitokuji Temple. But it was […]