Unlike many sightseeing locations, Higashi Hongan-ji Temple is still an influential place in modern religious practices, situated just east of another spot of interest, Nishi Hongan-ji Temple. They were one, in fact, until shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu split them into east (higashi) and west (nishi) sects because he was afraid the temple's political power would grow too great.
Located in the center of Kyoto, Higashi Hongan-ji is easily accessible by public transportation or on foot.
Higashi Hongan-ji is near two metro stations and a bus stop. From JR Kyoto Station, the temple is a seven-minute walk, and a five-minute walk rom Gojo Station on the Karasuma Subway Line. Alternatively, take a bus to Karasuma Shichijo bus stop; the temple is only a minute away on foot.
Higashi Hongan-ji Temple was constructed in 1602, ll years after its Nishi counterpart
Goeido, the main hall, is Kyoto's largest wooden structure
The headquarters of one of the two factions of the Jodo-shin sect
Each temple has its own highlights and interesting features. Like Nishi Hongan-ji, Higashi Hongan-ji has two very large halls. The slightly larger one, Goeido Hall, is the largest wooden structure in Kyoto.
Located a few blocks east is a small garden, Shosei-en. This garden is used as a detached residence for the temple and is open to the public. Shosei-en is lovely in all seasons and is usually less crowded than other gardens in the region. The entry fee includes an illustrated guide to Shosei-en, which makes a wonderful keepsake.
While the two temples are similar, a few points distinguish Higashi Hongan-ji. Located to the east, it was built 11 after Nishi Hongan-ji and has larger wooden halls. This temple also has a garden separate from the temple grounds.