A short walk north of Kyoto Station, this temple is the last word in all things grand and gaudy. Considering the proximity to the...
Sumiya Pleasure House
Shimabara, a district northwest of Kyoto Station, was Kyoto’s original pleasure quarters. At its peak during the Edo period (1600–1867)...
If you want to orient yourself as soon as you arrive in town, this is the place to do so. Located right outside the Karasuma (north)...
Jōjō is a funky modern izakaya within walking distance of Kyoto Station. Sit at the counter or at one of the tables. There’s an...
Horikawa-dōri · interesting places nearby
Nishi Hongan-ji information
In 1591 Toyotomi Hideyoshi built this temple, known as Hongan-ji, as the new headquarters for the Jōdo Shin-shū (True Pure Land) school of Buddhism, which had accumulated immense power. Later, Tokugawa Ieyasu saw this power as a threat and sought to weaken it by encouraging a breakaway faction of this school to found Higashi Hongan-ji (higashi means ‘east’) in 1602. The original Hongan-ji then became known as Nishi Hongan-ji (nishi means ‘west’). It now functions as the headquarters of the Hongan-ji branch of the Jōdo Shin-shū school, with over 10,000 temples and 12 million followers worldwide.
The temple contains five buildings, featuring some of the finest examples of architecture and artistic achievement from the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568–1600). The Goei-dō (main hall) is a marvellous sight. Another must-see building is the Daisho-in Hall , which has sumptuous paintings, carvings and metal ornamentation. A small garden and two nō (stylised Japanese dance-drama) stages are connected with the hall. The dazzling Kara-mon has intricate ornamental carvings.