Honnoji Temple is where the great daimyo Oda Nobunaga died in 1582. The shogun was attacked at the temple and then forced by one of his trusted generals, Akechi Mitsuhide, to commit ritual suicide. This all took place during an attempted coup d’etat. Nobunaga's death was quickly avenged by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Mitsuhide was defeated and killed (possibly by peasants as he fled the battle field).
The temple itself was founded in 1415, and is a part of the Nichiren sect. It was once located a short distance south at the intersection of Shijo and Nishinotoin streets. Like much of Kyoto, though, it was destroyed by fire many times. It was moved to its current location in 1589. There is now a memorial to Oda Nobunaga inside the grounds of the temple.
This is not the most elegant temple in Kyoto. There are two reasons however tourists visit: its historical significance as the temple where the great general Nobunaga died; and, second, its location. It is just across from City Hall, and backs onto Teramachi Street, which has many great shops. A walk up Teramachi from Shijo all the way to Sanjo, under the arcade, is a great way to pass an afternoon in Kyoto.
Thus, you can easily combine shopping, strolling, history, and a bit of culture both at and around Honnoji. The grounds of the temple are free, but there is a 500 yen fee to enter a small building (Honnoji Takuramonokan) on your right as you enter from Teramachi. The second floor contains items related to Nobunaga: byobu screens, swords, decorative scrolls, and more.
Free for the temple grounds. 500 yen for Honnoji Takuramonokan.
Hours: 9 am - 5 pm
Across the street from City Hall along Teramachi Dori. Nearest Train Station Shiyakushomae on the Tozai line, or a fifteen-minute walk from Keihan Sanjo Station.
522 Shimohonnojimae-cho Teramachi-dori Oike-sagaru Nakagyo-ku.
Tel: 075 231 5335
Akechi Mitsuhide, like Oda Nobunaga, came from what is now present-day Chubu, central Japan, near the cities of Nagoya and Gifu.
Akechi Mitsuhide's grave can be seen in his hometown of Akechi, Gifu Prefecture.
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Monday, June 25, 2007