Nishi Honganji is the older of Kyoto's Honganji temples, built in 1591. It is also the head temple of the Honganji sect of the Jodo sect of Buddhism. The main draw of the temple is simply its size. The hondo is huge; one of the largest temples in the nation!
It is also one of Kyoto's World Heritage Sites.
The temple is free to enter.
This is the Nishi-Hongwanji Temple. Yet it is another of the temples that are in the city not very far from the centre. This was very interesting with the many temple building in this large complex where I added 5 photos here.
This temple was originally founded in 1272 by the priestess Kakushin. She was the daughter of the founder of the buddhist Jodo Shin-shu school, Shinran.
The temple relocated to where it is today in 1591. The Jodo Shin-Shu had by that time become very powerful, and in an attempt to weaken that power Tokugawa Ieyasu encouraged breakaway members to found the Higashi Hongan-ji temple nearby.
The architecture and artwork there is representative of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. (1568-1600)
Entry is free
I am the kinda person that loves a balance of the fast life. The nightclubs, the partying and doing things for the first time, what every the first times things maybe be. There are no limits to what I like to do.
When I came to Kyoto I was searching for peace and tranquility and this is exactly what I found. I spent this time on my own and went to see the Shrines and the temples. I felt at peace in a way that I have never felt before.
A few blocks west of the Higashi Hongwanji is the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, also called Nishi Hongwanji. It is the mother temple and headquarters for more than 12,000,000 Shin Buddhists.
Originally the Hongwanji temples are one, but when the movement became to powerfull it was split up by government in east and west (Higashi and Nishi)
The main building is under construstion untill 2010 (or later) and can´t be visted. The other buildings are not that much, so if you are visiting Kyoto before 2010 you can drop this one from the list......
The Nishi Hongan-ji temple is a religious complex close to the modern Kyoto centre, not far from the railway station. It has been build in the 16th century and it is now still very popular with local people. It is a Shin Buddhist temple (Shinran Shonin in the 13th century founded this religious movement).
The main building is called the Founder's Hall, in honour of Shinran Shonin. It is a large wooden building (one of the largest in the world), with a magnificent facade and a long catwalk around; a lot of timber has been used... It is a major attraction for the many devotees who come here for praying. The Nishi Hongan-ji is a very active Shin Buddhist temple. You can go to http://www2.hongwanji.or.jp/english/shinbuddhism.html for more detaled info.
Inside the main buiding there is an image of Shinran, the founder of the temple and of Shin Buddhism. It is enshrined in the altar and there are portraits of past abbots on both sides. Many people come here to pray.
The temple complex is quite large. There are five main buildings plus some other smaller ones. There is plenty of space in between and it is a very pleasant place to spend a couple of hours. There are often school classes visiting the temple.
Headquarters of the Honganji School of the Jodo-Shin sect. Founded in 1272 by a daughter of Shinran, the sect's founder. Seen by some as one of the best examples of Momoyama-style architecture, and the finest in Kyoto. From gardens to buildings and art works, it has a wealth of National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. The northern Noh stage is considered the oldest in Japan. In 1602, concerned that the sect was growing too strong, the shogun gave a former abbot permission to open a new branch. Thus the main temple split into two schools: the Otani School (Higashi-Honganji Temple = East) & the Honganji School (Nishi-Honganji Temple = West). In December 1994, Nishi-Honganji Temple was registered as part of the World Cultural Heritage.
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