Higashi-Hongan-ji (Eastern Temple of the Original Vow)
Higashi-Hongan-ji (Eastern Temple of the Original Vow) Review
This temple's strong walls, mighty gates, and high-roofed main hall are impressive enough to make some newcomers believe they are looking at the Imperial Palace. In the current complex, largely a reconstruction in 1895, everything is dwarfed by the cavernous main hall, the second-largest wooden structure in Japan. During construction of the temple, female devotees had their hair cut and woven into the strong, thick rope needed to drag the heavy timber. A ragged section of one of these kezuna is on display inside the Daishi-do, a double-roofed structure that is admirable for its gracefully curving lines. Very close to Kyoto Station, this temple is the first of the city's ancient sights to confront visitors arriving by bus.