Kyoto Sights

Higashi-Hongan-ji (Eastern Temple of the Initial Vow)

  • Karasuma Shichijo-agaru Map It
  • Shimogyo-ku
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 12/10/2015

Fodor's Review

The high walls, immense wooden gates, and enormous roof of the Otani headquarters of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism are sufficiently impressive to convince some newcomers they're looking at the Imperial Palace. In the current complex, largely an 1895 reconstruction, the cavernous Hondo (Main Hall), also called the Amida-do, the second-largest wooden structure in Japan, dwarfs everything else. During the temple's construction, female devotees offered their hair, which was woven into strong, thick ropes used to set heavy timbers into place. A coiled length of one of these kezuna is within a glass case in a passageway between the Amida-do and the Daishi-do, a double-roof structure notable for its graceful curving lines.

Sight Information


Karasuma Shichijo-agaru, Kyoto, 600-8505, Japan

Map It



Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Mar.–Oct., daily 5:50–5:30; Nov.–Feb., daily 6:20–4:30

Published 12/10/2015


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