Higashi Hongan-ji 東本願寺
Kyoto, Japan
August 2023

Higashi Hongan-ji, or the Eastern Temple of the Original Vow, is a significant religious institution in Kyoto, Japan, deeply rooted in the Jodo Shinshu sect of Pure Land Buddhism. Established in 1602, it was founded as a result of a schism within the original Hongan-ji temple, which had become a focal point for political and social unrest during the Sengoku period. The split led to the creation of two distinct temples, with Higashi Hongan-ji emerging as the eastern counterpart.

Over the centuries, the temple complex has witnessed various reconstructions due to fires and natural disasters, with the present structures dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its architectural grandeur and cultural significance make it a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, attracting pilgrims and tourists alike. Higashi Hongan-ji stands as a testament to the enduring spiritual legacy of Shinran, the founder of Jodo Shinshu, and continues to serve as a spiritual haven for practitioners seeking solace and enlightenment in the heart of Kyoto.

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