7h $ 230 up to 15 people
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Premium tour of Kyoto (2):Nishi-Honganji temple, Higashi-Honganji temple & Shoseien garden

(8) Reviews
7h $ 230 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
230.00 USD

total price for up to 15 people
FREE cancellation 14 days prior

Extras (optional)

Extra hour.
$ 9.20

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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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

Depart From Kyoto

Meeting Point At your hotel

Ending Point At your hotel

Duration 7 hours

Starting time 10:00 AM ( recommended )   Flexible

Number of people 1 to 15   Flexible
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

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.

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.

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Cancellation Policy

  • If you cancel at least 14 day(s) in advance of the meeting date, there is a 100% refund.
  • If you cancel between 2 and 13 day(s) in advance of the meeting date, there is a 20% charge.
  • If you cancel within 1 day before of the meeting date, there is a 40% charge.
  • If you cancel on the meeting date, there is no refund.

Organized by Tatsuhiro


National Certified Guide

(8) Reviews

Contact Tatsuhiro
Response Time 7 hs

Languages spoken
  • English ( License )

It took me some 20 years to be qualified for this job and I feel honored for being able to help tourists from abroad understand our nation and culture. Japan is a beautiful country with a long history, tradition and rich cultural heritages, having various features in each of the four distinct seasons. Although there are now many visitors from abroad, mainly from Asian countries, they are mostly interested in shopping taking advantage of cheaper yen rather than understanding our people and culture. Kyoto and Nara are the two cities best known by foreign tourists, but not all the aspects of Japanese culture are concentrated there. If you visit the countryside other than these two cities, you will never fail to see the beautiful natural surroundings and people who will warmly welcome you. I wish to work as the bridge between Japanese people and tourists from all over the world. read more


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