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Nishi-Hongan-ji (Western Temple of the Original Vow)
Nishi-Hongan-ji (Western Temple of the Original Vow) Review
Set within a sprawling compound with courtyards and gardens, the graceful curves, stout lintels, and ornate gold accents of this temple are excellent examples of elegant Momoyama-era architecture. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the global center for the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism, which was founded in 1272, but what you see today dates from the early 17th century. The fascinating relics and artifacts housed within were confiscated from various palaces belonging to the deposed warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi. As at Higashi-Hongan-ji, daily rituals carried out inside the beautifully restored main hall are great opportunities to see daily life at the temple. The morning service is daily at 6. Nishi-Hongan-ji is on Horikawa-dori, a block north of Shichijo-dori. Guided tours in Japanese of the Shoin (audience hall) are available by appointment only.
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