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

(14) Reviews
7h $ 225 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
225.00 USD

Price up to 15 people
FREE cancellation 14 days prior

Extras (optional)

Extra hour.
$ 9.00

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" (**********) 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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4.0 (14) Reviews
Excellent
 
36%
Very Good
 
50%
Good
 
7%
Poor
 
0%
Horrible
 
7%

Organized by

Tatsuhiro Licensed Guide
(14) Reviews
Contact Tatsuhiro Response Time: 7 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 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 prior to the meeting date, there is a 40% charge.
  • If you cancel on the meeting date, there is no refund.

Reviews ( 14 )

Excellent
1 month ago |   by Christopher

“ Great night out ”

We had a wonderful night with Tasuhiro, Hiro-san. Starting with his punctuality, it led to an engaging night exploring Osaka and its vibrant food district. As first-time visitors to Osaka, he was a great asset, escorting us from Kyoto and immersing us in the local cultural rituals and adding his knowledge of the area. He was charming company and when we return one day, we would like to see him again and head out on another urban adventure together.

Horrible
1 month ago |   by John

“ Guide a no-show ”

We arrived at Kyoto station at 9:55 am on N6 as planned with Tatashiro and came out to the central entrance...... looking for a sign with our name.... we waited for 30 minutes. At which tine I bought train tix myself to Ishiyama and asked how to find the correct track. We went to the MIHO on our own with the help of my guide book. Very disappointed that Mr. TAtashiro was not there. Poor impression of Triple lights John Bisenius

Very Good
1 month ago |   by Alice

“ Extra mile ”

Very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful in answering questions not related to his tour subject. We recommend him highly

Very Good
5 months ago |   by Romain

“ Very knowledgeable and very nice ”

Tastuhiro was very nice and even wrote down the questions that he was not sure about. He then came back to me with the answer via email.

Very Good
7 months ago |   by Benjamin

“ Satisfying Tour ”

We have an enjoyable tour with Tatsuhiro as our guide. He brought us to the places that we want to see like Tofukuji Temple, Arashima area, Osakajo Castle and other places of interests. He also guided us to shopping area like Daiso. He is patient with us and his knowledge about the places that we tour is quite good. He is also on time in fetching us from our hotel. Most of all he is friendly, honest and a descent person.

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