The Higashi Hongan-Ji Temple is considered to be the one among the two parts in Shin Buddhism abroad or in Japan, the other one is Nishi Hongan-Ji. The temple was established in the year 1321 and it is also said to be the burial place of Shinran Shonin, founder of Jodo-Shinshu Buddhism. During the year 1987, the name of the Higashi Hongan-Ji has been changed into “Shinshu Honbyo”, and the temple is not suppose to be called “Higashi Hongan-Ji”. Though the name has been changed, the temple has not been moved or restored; it follows the same religious traditions of the past till now. Kakunyo is known to be the first priest of the Higashi Hongan-Ji Temple.
In 1860s, it was called the period of Meiji Restoration; the government of religious organization managements gives some new instructions. The Higashi Hongan-Ji Temple was under the control of Shinshu Otani organization. To the Shinshu Otani School, the Higashi Hongan-Ji Temple serves as the head quarters. Shinran is known to be the founder of this school.
From the past, many people have visited the Higashi Honganji Temple, though the name has been changed, people still call it Higashi Hongan-Ji. The important thing to be viewed at the Higashi Hongan-Ji Temple is the hall gate of the founder. This gate can even be viewed from JR Kyoto Station. A number of wooden structures at the time of 1895 can be seen here.
Another important thing at this temple is the Shosei Garden. Ishikawa Jozan, who was known to be a great poet, did the design of the garden in the 17th century. A ceremony called Tokudo-Shiki takes place here, twice in august, where the people take vows.
Traveling to the Higashi Hongan-Ji Temple
From the Kyoto Station, its just 10 minutes walk. There are lots of trains to the Kyoto Station. The Higashi Hongan-Ji Temple is open from 5:50 am and closes at 5:30 pm in the evening. The entry fee is free.