法然院 is a lovely temple with carefully tended gardens nestled in the foothills of Kyoto’s eastern mountains. It was founded in 1680, and named after the priest Hōnen, who devoted his life to seeking salvation for all, no matter what their station in life. Today this temple holds regular exhibitions of both local and international artists. At the time of writing, there are two exhibitions. “Kazokuten” is an exhibition of calligraphy, sculpture, prints and other art-work by the multi-talented Nakamura family, and will continue until October 3rd. 日々の器 or “Daily Wares” is an exhibition of pottery by Shima Ruriko, and will continue until October 8th. Here are some pictures from the temple grounds. You can click through to flickr for a closer look.
With its beautiful grounds, Hōnen-In is a wonderful setting for an art gallery and well worth your time. To find it go south from Ginkakuji along Tetsugaku-no-michi (The Path of Philosophy) and after a 15 minute walk you should see a sign on your right for 法然院. Cross the canal and you’ll find yourself on a side street. Go left again and you’ll find the entrance on your right leading up through the woods. Alternatively, coming directly from Shirakawa Dori, just go in a straight line east from Fresco Supermarket till you get to Tetsugaku-no-michi and then follow the directions as above. Here is a map.