Honganji Temples in Kyoto

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Facts & Figures

In the center of Kyoto within the Shimogyo Ward you will find two large temples with the names Nishi Honganji and Higashi Honganji. Both temples form the headquarters of the Jodo-Shinshu (Pure Land Buddhism) sect. The temples are dating back to the 16th century. Nishi Honganji has the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the main hall (Goei-do) of the Higashi Hinganji is the largest wooden building in Kyoto and one of the largest in the world. Part of the Higashi Hinganji temple is the nearby beautiful Shosei-en Garden. In 1641 Shogun Iemitsu Tokugawa (1604 – 1651) donated this property. Best Ryokans in Kyoto Explore Ryokans in Kyoto >
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Higashi Honganji Temple

Higashi Honganji (Eastern Temple) is the head temple of Shinshu Otani-ha, a branch of Pure Land Buddhism, called Shinshu Hombyo. The temple was established by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543 - 1616) in the year 1602. Since 1658 the temple has been located at the present location. My must-see recommendation for you within the temple complex is The Founder's Hall (Goei-do). It is one of the largest wooden buildings in the world.

Address: Karasuma Shichi-jo Agaru, Shimogyo-ku, 600-8505 Kyoto

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Nishi Honganji Temple

Nishi Honganji (Western Temple) is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Japan and the headquarters of the Jodo-Shinshu (Pure Land Buddhism) sect´s Honganji branch. It has the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The construction of Nishi Hongan-ji began in 1591. Designated as National Treasures at the temple grounds are Amidado (Hall of Amida Buddha), Goeido (Founder's Hall), and Karamon (Chinese Gate).

Address: Hanayacho-sagaru, Horikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, 600-8501 Kyoto

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Shosei-en Garden

Shosei-en Garden is a beautiful traditional Japanese formal garden. Shosei-en is owned by the Higashi Honganji Temple. The garden covers an area of approx. 33000 square meters. You can find there a large pond at its center, tea houses, stone lanterns, bridges, reception halls, cherry trees, and much more. It is the perfect place to enjoy the cherry blossom season in March and April.

Address: 300 Higashi-Tamamizu-cho, Simojyuzuyamachi-dori, Ainomachi-Higashiiru, Shimogyo-ku, 600-8190 Kyoto

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