Chion-In Temple Main Building

The front view of the main building at Chion-in is nice, but not totally exciting...

front view of the main building at Chion-in

A side view is definitely more inspiring, you can start to see some details of the wooden structure.

side view of the main building at Chion-in

If you're lucky, as I was, you might even see a Buddhist service in progress, with both lay people and monks in attendance.

I felt bad about disturbing things by taking photographs until some of the Japanese actually worshipping started taking photographs.   And I wasn't using flash, as they were, just natural light!

Buddhist service in progress
roof ornament of a dragon poking its tongue out

Some of the most delightful aspects of the temple buildings are the roof ornaments, like this dragon with an attitude problem.  It's on the roof of the little shelter above the incense brazier, which you can see in the foreground of the first photo on this page, with several people standing around it.

Here's another roof ornament, this time of a grinning devil.

I couldn't decide if these were supposed to be frightening, or whether they were deliberately humorous.

grinning devil roof ornament
flying lion roof ornament

This little flying lion certainly doesn't look too scary.

You just have to admire the artistry of the guys who made these roof ornaments, some of them look almost real!

grey heron perched on the roof of the Chion-in calligraphy room