Higashi Hongan-ji

Higashi Honganji Temple

A long-influential spiritual center

Higashi Honganji Temple is a long-influential spiritual center located in Kyoto, japan. Unlike many sightseeing locations, this temple is still an influential place in modern religious practices. It is situated just east of another spot of interest, Nishi Honganji Temple. These two temples functioned as a single temple complex until they were split into east (higashi) and west (nishi) by shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. The split was done out of fear that as a single entity, their political power would grow too great.

Higashi Honganji Temple was constructed in 1602 and has a rich history that spans centuries. The temple belongs to the Jodo-shin school of Buddhism and is the head temple of one of Jodo-shin Buddhism’s two most well-known factions. It has been a place of worship and pilgrimage for countless Buddhists throughout the years.

One of the highlights of Higashi Honganji Temple is the Goeido, which is one of the world’s largest wooden structures. The Goeido was rebuilt in 1985 and stands as a testament to the architectural prowess of the craftsmen who built it. Its grandeur and intricate design make it a must-see attraction for visitors to the temple.

Getting to Higashi Honganji Temple is easy, as it is centrally located in Kyoto. It can be reached by public transportation or on foot. The temple is near two metro stations and a bus stop, making it convenient for tourists to visit. From Kyoto Station, the temple is just a seven-minute walk away. If you prefer to take the subway, Gojo Station on the Karasuma Subway Line is a five-minute walk from the temple. Alternatively, you can take a bus to Karasuma Shichijo bus stop, and the temple is only a minute away on foot.

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Once you arrive at Higashi Honganji Temple, you will be greeted by its majestic presence. The temple complex is vast and has many interesting features to explore. One of the standout features is the Goeido Hall, which is one of the largest wooden halls in the world. The sheer size and craftsmanship of this hall are awe-inspiring, and it is a sight to behold.

Another attraction near Higashi Honganji Temple is the famous garden called Shoseien. Located a few blocks east of the temple, Shoseien was once a detached residence for the temple but is now open to the public. This garden is a beautiful oasis in the city, and it is lovely to visit in all seasons. In 1936, it was designated a national scenic temple garden, and its beauty attracts visitors from all over the world. When you visit Shoseien, the entry fee includes an illustrated guide, which serves as a wonderful keepsake to remember your visit.

While Higashi Honganji Temple shares similarities with its western counterpart, Nishi Honganji Temple, there are a few distinguishing points. Higashi Honganji Temple was built 11 years after the Nishi Honganji complex and has larger wooden halls. Additionally, Higashi Honganji Temple has a separate garden from the main grounds, adding to its unique charm.

In conclusion, Higashi Honganji Temple is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese history, culture, and spirituality. Its long-standing influence and rich heritage make it a significant place in modern religious practices. The temple’s stunning architecture, including the impressive Goeido Hall, showcases the craftsmanship and skill of the builders. The nearby Shoseien garden provides a serene and picturesque experience for visitors. Whether you are a Buddhist seeking spiritual solace or a tourist interested in exploring Japan’s cultural treasures, Higashi Honganji Temple offers a unique and enriching experience. Plan your visit to this spiritual center and immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility it has to offer.

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Address And Maps Location:

754 Tokiha-machi, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu

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