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Nishi Honganji Temple - A World Heritage Site and One of the Most Popular Tourist Spots in Kyoto!

This video, titled "Kyoto, Japan, Nishi Honganji Temple, Jodo Shinshu, Otani Honbyo, World Heritage Site, 2018/8" (京都 西本願寺浄土真宗・大谷本廟 世界遺産 2018/8), was uploaded by "cakua car trips" (cakua 車の旅).
It introduces the beauty of Nishi Honganji Temple, a temple registered as a World Heritage Site under "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto."
The temple is located in Kyoto, Japan in Japan's Kansai region.

Nishi Honganji Temple: A Popular Sightseeing Spot and Indispensable Part of Sightseeing in Kyoto!

Image of Nishi Honganji Temple, Kyoto, Japan
Photo:Nishi Honganji Temple, Kyoto, Japan

At the beginning of the video, viewers can see a map of Nishi Honganji Temple and its surrounding area.
Nishi Honganji Temple is a popular tourist spot that we highly recommend visiting when traveling in Kyoto.

It is the head temple of the Honganji school of the Jodo Shinshu sect, and its official name is "Ryukokuzan Honganji."
It is called Nishi Honganji (lit. "west Hongaji") to distinguish it from Higashi Honganji (lit. "east Hongaji") of the Shinshu Otani school.

The History of Nishi Honganji Temple

Image of Otani Honbyo, Higashiyama, Kyoto
Photo:Otani Honbyo, Higashiyama, Kyoto

The history of Nishi Honganji Temple dates back to 1272, when it was built as a mausoleum for Shinran Shonin.
Shinran Shonin's burial place was simple at first, but then Otani Honbyo was built by monks.
In addition to Shinran Shonin, many of his followers from all over Japan are buried here, and memorial services are held regularly.
It is a part of the same sect as Higashi Honganji, and the sutras used are also the same.
In Kagoshima Prefecture, there's Honganji Kagoshima Betsuin, another temple belonging to the same school of Buddhism.

National Treasures and Important Cultural Assets at Nishi Honganji Temple

Image of Nishi Honganji Temple, Kyoto, Japan
Photo:Nishi Honganji Temple, Kyoto, Japan

There are many things to see on the grounds of Nishi Honganji Temple.
As you enter the temple grounds through Goeido Gate, you'll see the elegant chozu-ya.
This can be seen from 2:00 in the video.

The two main halls, Goeido Hall and Amida Hall, stand side by side.
In Goeido Hall, there is a statue of Shinran Shonin.
At 2:49 in the video, you can see the majestic interior of the Amida Hall.
Another must-see is Hiunkaku, one of the three most famous buildings in Kyoto, which is said to be the remnants of Jurakudai, a palace constructed at the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The shoin (study), a national treasure, includes a kuro shoin (a shoin used by shogun, daimyo, and high-ranking priests) and a noh stage, the oldest existing noh stage in Japan.

Also check out Karamon Gate, a gate with magnificent carvings, said to make you forget the sun has set.
There's also Tekisuien Garden in Hiunkaku, which is designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty, and Daishoin Garden, designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty and a historic site.
The garden is usually closed to the public, but it is a must-see on the special occasions when it is open to the public.
At Monbou Kaikan, the lodging house of Nishi Honganji Temple, visitors can enjoy vegetarian Buddhist cuisine.

Summary of Nishi Honganji Temple

It takes about 15 minutes to get to Nishi Honganji Temple from Kyoto Station on foot.
There is also a free parking lot for worshippers and visitors to the temple.
There is no charge to visit Nishi Honganji Temple, but there are no unfortunately no shuin stamps either.
The video introduces many of the highlights of Nishi Honganji Temple.
If you're not sure where to start, consider taking a free tour of the temple.
You can find more details on the official website of Nishi Honganji Temple below.
Tours average about 30 minutes each.

Be sure to check out the video to see the highlights of Nishi Honganji Temple, one of the most popular tourist spots in Kyoto and a World Heritage Site!

【Official Website】The Hongaji School of Jodo Shinshu|Nishi Honganji Temple

【TripAdvisor】Nishi Honganji Temple

Written By
Last Updated : Apr. 9, 2023
有田 和義(Kazuyoshi Arita)
A 40-something writer who loves entertainment
Nishi Honganji Temple - Explore the Popular Travel Destination in Kyoto, Japan! A Look at the Majestic Architecture and Gardens of This World Heritage Site and National Treasure!
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