This massive 12th century temple was established by the priest Honen [1133-1212] in 1175 as the headquarters of the Jodo (Pure Land Sect) school of Buddhism. The visitor enters Chion-in through the largest temple gate in Japan--the Sanmon gate. In fact, the gate (dating back to 1619) has been designated an important cultural property and is acclaimed as the biggest wooden example of gate genre in the world. The size of the towering roof of the main hall, which holds 3000, is equally awe-inspiring. The temple bell is also a monster; at New Year, 17 youthful priests are needed to ring it. The complex at one time had 21 buildings. Some of the remaining ones have been named important cultural properties. Another national treasure is Honen's statue, which is enshrined in the Miedo. Hours daily 9a.