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Premium tour of Kyoto (2):Nishi-Honganji temple, Higashi-Honganji temple & Shoseien garden

(19) Reviews
7h $ 223 Price up to 15 people

Highlights

  • Nishi-Honganji temple, famous for its two gigantic ginkgo trees, together with the two magnificent structures.
  • Higashi-Honganji temple, famous for its two magnificent structures and the sample of hair rope.
  • Beautifully landscaped gardens in Shoseien garden.

Select Date and Travelers

When?
People
222.50 USD

Price up to 15 people
FREE cancelation 30 days prior

Extras (optional)

Extra hour.
$ 8.90

What to Expect

I will take you to the tour of two well-known temples and a quiet garden in Kyoto, all of which located within the radius of one kilometer from JR Kyoto station and provided with the city bus services.

(1) Nishi-Honganji temple
Designated as the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1994, Nishi-Honganji Temple is the mother temple and headquarters of the Honganji faction of Jodo (Pure Land) Shinshu sect of Buddhism. The Jodo-Shinshu teaching was established by the Venerable "Shinran-shonin" (1173-1263) in the Kamakura period (1185 to 1333). He underwent austere training and hardships in various parts of the country before returning to Kyoto to complete his work, "Kyogyoshinsho", or The True teaching, Practice and Realization of the Pure Land Way on Buddhism. After his demise, his daughter erected a mausoleum at Higashiyama, Kyoto, which became the foundation of Nishi-Honganji Temple today. In the 16th century, it was moved to and re-established at the present location.
Followers of this sect, according to its doctrine, will be reborn in the Pure Land and attain Enlightenment. They will be able to live lives to the fullest, become aware of both potentials and limitations in this world, overcome difficulties and realize happiness within their lifetime.
There are many structures in the precincts, many of which have the status of National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties of Japan. They are: " Amidado" (Hall of "Amida" Buddha, built in 1760), "Goeido" (Founder`s Hall, completed in 1636), "Karamon" Gate, Shoin Hall, "Hiunkaku" House (believed to be part of Jurakudai Palace built by a ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi) and others. There is also a 400-year-old huge ginkgo tree called the "upside-down ginkgo tree", because it looks as if its roots were spread into the sky.

(2) Higashi-Honganji temple
Originally built in 1604 but most recently rebuilt in 1895, this temple is officially called "Shinshu-Honbyo", or The Principal Mausoleum of the True Pure Land Teaching, consisting of the two gigantic halls of "Goeido", or the Founder`s Hall and "Amidado", or Amida Buddha Hall. This temple belongs to the same faction as its counterpart, Nishi-Honganji temple, so the doctrine is basically the same. However, what makes this temple distinguishable are the historical relics preserved there: "kezuna" hair rope consisting of women`s hair and hemp tissues, a sample of a sledge used to transport huge pieces of timber and the diorama reproducing the scene of the avalanche. There are a total of 156 huge pillars whose diameter is some 60 centimeters made of zelkova tree in the two halls. Important Buddhist ceremonies are occasionally held here, attracting a large number of followers.

(3) Shoseien Garden
Located some 500 meters east of and belonging to Higashi-Honganji temple, Shoseien Garden has been the place for the retired head priests of the temple to spend their latter days since the middle of the 17th century. There are many gardens, tea houses, along with the two ponds, but the present buildings were rebuilt after the civil war of 1864. After the Meiji Restoration of Japan took place in 1868, many dignitaries, including the consuls of Qing dynasty, Italy and Russia, as well as
the Japanese nobles visited there. Even Japanese Emperor Meiji and Russian Crown Prince Nicholas Ⅱ spent some time there.
You can enjoy strolling along the paths in the perfectly landscaped garden while watching the trees and hearing birds sing. You can immerse yourself in the quiet and serene atmosphere somewhat different from that of temples.

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Organized by

Tatsuhiro Licensed Guide
(19) Reviews
Contact Tatsuhiro Response Time: 4 hs

Highlights

  • Nishi-Honganji temple, famous for its two gigantic ginkgo trees, together with the two magnificent structures.
  • Higashi-Honganji temple, famous for its two magnificent structures and the sample of hair rope.
  • Beautifully landscaped gardens in Shoseien garden.

Important

What‘s included
guide fee, hotel pick-up in Kyoto city area
What‘s not included
transportation fee (you and guide), lunch, dinner, entrance fee, hotel pick-up in areas outside Kyoto city
Meeting Point
At your hotel
Ending Point
At your hotel
Duration
7 hours
Starting time
10:00 AM ( recommended )   Flexible
Number of people
up to 15 people   Flexible

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you (guide) wait if we (customer) are late for an appointment?

I can wait for you for up to half an hour for free. I will ask you, however, 1,000 yen per 30 minutes if you are late any further.

How much is the transportation fee?

Bus fare is 230 yen from JR Kyoto station to Nishi-Honganji temple. You can walk to Higashi-Honganji temple from there. You can also walk to Shoseien Garden from Higashi-Honganji temple.

How much are the admission fees?

The admission fee for Shoseien garden is 500 yen. The other two temples, Nishii-Honganji temple and Higashi-Honganji temple charge you no fees. Small amount of donation is preferable, though.

What are the closing times?

The closing time for Higashi-Honganji temple and Nishi-Hongannji tempel is 17:00, while that of Shoseien Garden is 16:30. In the winter period (November to February), however, those places are closed an hour earlier, respectively.

Can I make changes after I book?

Yes! If you need to make changes such as removing or adding someone to your booking or changing the date or time of your tour, contact us by phone or email

Starting and ending points of the tour.

After you secure your booking, the starting and ending points of your tour can be customized to your convenience (ex.: your hotel, nearby stations, etc.). Don't worry, we will take care of you! Some tours may have an extra fee for this service, make sure to check the tour page.

What happens after I book a tour?

After booking a tour, the guide will accept (or decline) your booking within 24 hours. Then you will be noticed by email from Triplelights.

Is the price per person or per group?

The price is charged per group. Which means that you make a one-time payment for your entire group and the price will not change if it is less or more people.

Can I add more people to my booking?

Some guides accept extra people (more than the specified number) for an extra charge. Please check for the extras on the tour or booking page, or contact your guide directly to clarify.

Will there be other tourists in my tour?

No. Your tour is private, only for you and your family or friends, there will be no other group of tourists together in your tour.

Can the guide pickup me at the airport?

Yes, but there will be additional charge for that and it is not by car. The guide will go pick you up using public transportations. For further details, please contact your guide directly.

I'm travelling alone. Can I book this tour?

Yes, you can and you may be able to get a discount if you are traveling alone. Price depends on which guide you choose.

View More Frequently Asked Questions read more

Cancellation Policy

  • If you cancel in the first 14 day(s) before the meeting date ,there is a 100% charge.
  • If you cancel between 15 and 29 day(s) in advance of the meeting date ,there is a 50% charge.
  • If you cancel at least 30 day(s) in advance of the meeting date, there is a 100% refund.
Reviews ( 19 )
Peter Peter Canada ( Friends )
Very Good
1 day ago

“ Great tour ”

We had a good time and a great tour with dear Tatsuhiro, he is a very good guide and we really enjoyed all the sights, thank your very much again Tatsuhiro

Tatsuhiro:

Hi Peter-san, Thank you very much for your favorable comment. I am really encouraged. I am glad that we completed the tour safely and that you kept smiling all the way. Also, it is a great relief for me that your were well in time for the ship`s departure. I wish you all a greater health. Many thanks. Regards, Tatsuhiro

shailendra Shailendra United States ( Friends )
Good
2 weeks ago

“ Knowledgeable guide but difficult to communicate ”

Tatsuhiro San was our guide for 3 days in the Kyoto area. He showed us Kyoto for 2 days and then also took us to Nara and Osaka. He is a kind old man with a good knowledge of the area but we felt that we did not get our money's worth as it was very difficult to communicate with him. On 2 days we lost an hour each as we tried to find him at Kyoto station and even when we were with him it was difficult to communicate with him. His spoken english is good but his listen comprehension is very slow. He had trouble understanding us.

Tatsuhiro:

Hi Shailendra-san, Thank you very much for your enlightening comments. I am glad that you enjoyed your tour of Kyoto and Nara, but I feel sorry for failing to meet you on time and for having an enormous difficulty understanding you. I spent a long period of time reading English editorials and not enough time communicating with the native speakers. Hence my insufficient listening comprehension. I will take your remarks seriously into consideration and try to improve my skill as a guide from now on. Many thanks again. Wish you a good luck. Regards, Tatsuhiro

Marcus Marcus United Kingdom ( Friends )
Excellent
3 weeks ago

“ Amazing guide. Very knowledgeable and we learnt a lot. ”

Our day with Tatsuhiro-san was an extremely interesting one. He took us to many of Kyoto's cultural landmarks and explained the history behind them in great detail. He is a very knowledgeable and kind-hearted guide. He always wants to help tourists make the most out of their stay in Japan whilst also sharing the history behind the country. We would definitely recommend Tatsuhiro-san anyone to wishing to see Kyoto and learn about the history. Thank you Tatsuhiro-san for an amazing day!

Tatsuhiro:

Hi Marcus-san, Emily-san, Paul-san and Jonathan-san, Many thanks for your favorable comment. I am really encouraged. My primary purpose for this job is to have visitors from abroad feel happy, satisfied and enlightened through the tour I share with them and I am sure I got a full mark from you. I am glad if this trip helped you understand our society and Japan as a whole to some extent. I wish you a good luck and success in your career. More and more. Regards, Tatsuhiro

Karen Karen Malaysia ( Couple )
Excellent
5 months ago

“ Recommended Tour Guide ”

We had a customized tour. Had listed down the places we wanted to see and he planned a tour schedule for us. He was friendly and very accomodating. He was very informative on all the places we went. He also acted as a translator at the markets. He went out of his way to make sure we were on the right train back to osaka before we parted ways. He is recommended if you are looking for a good tour guide.

Tatsuhiro:

Hi Karen-san, Thank you so much for your favorable comments. I am really encouraged and am determined to do better in my jobs from now on. Above all, it`s the best reward for me that you enjoyed the tour and that you are now safely back in your country. Wish you a good health and success in your career. Regards, Hiro

Maya Maya Indonesia ( Family )
Very Good
9 months ago

“ Very kind and patient ”

Tatsuhiro is very kind and patient. He always reply my email and try to answer my question. He also give suggestion and recommendation for the tour. He also get refund for my mom ticket of Kaiyukan and assist to make reservation for the restaurant in Kyoto. However, he got a little confused when we took train to Osaka City Tour. But it was understandable because he is not originally from Osaka. My mom is in wheelchair and we are big group (16 person), can not handle easily. However, we had so much fun in Osaka and great time to see the beautiful of Kyoto. I wish him good luck and thank you for his kind service.

Tatsuhiro:

Hi Maya-san, Selamat sore. Thank you very much for your favorable review on the two-day tour. I enjoyed your company everywhere we visited. I received a lot of energy from the kids who are steadily growing up. Nothing is more encouraging than seeing kids` smiling faces. Meanwhile, I humbly accept your comment on my confusion regarding the transportation in Osaka. I will fully take that into consideration. Also, I feel sorry for having lost sight of you at Kaiyukan Osaka Aquarium. It` s also the source of reflection for me. I wish you all a greater happiness and a brighter future. I wish to see you again. Terimakasih. Regards, ... read more

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