Nishi Honganji Temple, Kyoto
The Nishi-Honganji Temple is the chief temple of the original Jodo-shinsu sect and an outstanding example of Buddhist architecture. Only part of this temple is freely open to the public: to see the other parts application must be made in advance to the temple offices.The Hondo (Main Hall), rebuilt in 1760, has a number of fine rooms decorated with paintings on a gold ground by unknown artists of the Kano school and contains a statue of Amida by a master of the Kauga School. In the side-room are statues of Shotoku-taishi (573-621) and Ho-nen (1133-1212). The Daishi-do (Founder's Hall) has a much revered statue of Shinran, probably carved by himself in 1244. After his death it was covered with a coat of lacquer mingled with his ashes. On either side are likenesses of later abbots. Above the entrance to the hall is an inscription in the hand of the Emperor Meiji consisting of two Chinese characters (ken-shin). In front of the Founder's Hall is a handsome gate, the Seimon. Another notable building is the Daishoin or Treasury, originally part of Fushimi Castle, to the south of the town, which was transferred to its present site in 1632 together with the richly carved gateway Kara-mon. The various rooms are named after the wall and ceiling paintings with which they are decorated (mostly of the Kano school). The Sparrow Room (Suzume-no-ma) was the work of Maruyama Ozui and Kano Ryokei. The (badly damaged) paintings in the Room of the Wild Geese (Gan-no-ma) are by Kano Ryokei. The Chrysanthemum Room (Kiku-no-ma) has flower pictures in gold and white by Kaiho Yusetsu (17th C) and works by Kano Hidenobu and Kano Koi. The Stork Room (Ko-no-ma), decorated by Kano Tanyu, Kano Ryokei and Maruyama Okyo, was the Abbott's audience chamber. The room known as Shimei-no-ma or Siro-shoin, with works by Kano Koi, Kaiho Yusetsu and Kano Ryotaku, came from Fushimi Castle.Near by is the Kuro-Shoin hall, with sliding doors painted by Kano Eitku, and a No theater brought her from Fushimi Castle. Some distance away, in the SE corner of the temple enclosure, is the Hiun-kaku Pavilion (16th C), with paintings by Kano Tanyu, Tokuriki Zensetsu, Kano Eitoku, Kano Sanraku and Kano Motonobu; it contains Hideyoshi's tearoom.
Map of Kyoto Attractions