Nishi Honganji

Nishi Honganji, Kyoto

Nishi Honganji
4.5
5:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
5:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
5:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
5:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
5:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
5:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
5:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
5:30 AM - 5:00 PM
The area
Address
Neighborhood: Shimogyo-ku
Shimogyo-ku is centered around the busy train hub, Kyoto Station. A nexus for commerce, shopping, dining, and hotels, the Shimogyo-ku area is infused with tourists and local business travelers, making it a competitive location for ever-new commercial structures. The shops and cafes here are chic and trendy, as a result, with many recognizable chains. Commuters flood the Shimogyo-ku area twice a day, and with Kyoto Station itself being a modern mega-complex and an architectural marvel, this neighborhood is one of the most contemporary and energetic areas that the city has to offer. Buildings here look futuristic, and huge department stores, shopping arcades, and public meeting spaces provide every possible convenience. It is also nearly the only place in Kyoto where rooftop dining and socializing is available, completing its modern tone.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
779 reviews
Excellent
355
Very good
333
Average
87
Poor
3
Terrible
1

WalkingPoint
Bangkok, Thailand311 contributions
Feb 2020 • Family
An outstanding temple with wide open spaces and, no so many visitors. Easy access and definitely worth an hours look.
Large store adjoining fir souveniers and associated books, incense etc
Written February 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Safariholic
Horsham, UK1,938 contributions
Oct 2019
Apart from being prohibited from taking Photos and having to take your shoes off on pain of ..... , the whole experiences was surreal

The mystical inspiring properties were lost on me - I just dont get Relegions & Deities and all that stuff, So, for me, it was an architecural interest, and at that it is frankly a marvel, considering it dates back to 1500s (500+ yrs old). Most impressive.

Definitely worth an hour of your time - even if you're a Philistines like me.
Written August 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tracy P
Hong Kong, China683 contributions
Nov 2019 • Friends
There is an old Ginkgo biloba tree in the middle of the temple, over 300 years old. Supposed it’s time to turn the leaves to yellow but not yet this week. This temple is free entrance and in fact, seldom temple is free admission and allows visitors to walk around without watching.
Written November 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TravelusMaximus
Calgary, Canada686 contributions
May 2014 • Solo
Many wonderful aspects make Nishi Honganji so special (just like its "sister" temple Higashi Honganji): (1) quiet contemplation ... you'll encounter far fewer tourists here than at Kyoto's Big 3 (Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera); (2) you get to go INSIDE the beautiful temple buildings (unlike the Big 3) to see the exquisite woodwork & carvings as well as the glittering altars; (3) insights to Japanese Buddhism ... you may be lucky enough to sit quietly at the back in the dark, as a monk leads worshippers thru a chanting ceremony. Magical.
Written March 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

patagoniac57
Orange, CA107 contributions
Dec 2018 • Family
This is a UNESCO World Heritage site close to Kyoto Station.It has one truly massive building and some smaller buildings. While this is not a massive complex like other temples, it is quite beautiful. The best part is that it is not crowded (even in December) compared to the other more popular sites, It is quite peaceful. Plus it is free! When you enter the temple, you have to remove your shoes.There are several bathrooms.
Written December 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

EredGorgoroth1
Jakarta, Indonesia9,912 contributions
Nov 2014 • Solo
The Goeido gate of Nishi Honganji is the first sign you see from Higashi Honganji. A tall and flowing gate leads directly to Goeido Founder's Hall. Smaller than Higashi Honganji, Nishi Honganji has three altars, at the center is Amida. When I visited there, there are more visitors in Nishi Honganji than in Higashi Honganji. On the right is a connecting corridor to Hall of Amida Buddha. There was a ritual led by a priest in Amidado and we are provided with chairs (instead of sitting on the floor) to follow the ritual. Going further right is the and administration building. Across the administration building is a bookstore, but only has very few English books.

There are two trees on the open space, and some flower sellers.

Famous Karamon gate is on the south exit gate.
Written December 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bcw
Melbourne, Australia547 contributions
Dec 2013 • Solo
After a long walk from Sanjo- dori, I came across this shrine which perplexed me a bit with its shroud and scaffolding. Located right in the southern end of Kyoto ( a hop and a skip from Kyoto station) the shrine complex and garden are surrounded by a wall.
Parts of the restoration is completed and one can access the main shrine. As a working shrine worshippers were seen during my visit.
The rich and ornate interior details and structures of the main shrine is worth having a look.

The highlight for me were the ginkgo trees in various stages of autumn beauty. Some retained its full tree of leaves, some partial and others have lost all, displaying bare branches. Some parts of the grounds were like a thick yellow carpet whilst some of the leaves caught between the ridges of the roof tiles created a rather beautiful sight.
My visit to Nishi Honganji was in early December for those interested in seeing the ginkgo trees.
Many parts of urban Kyoto streetscape were full of ginkgo trees. Extremely delightful.
Written January 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

belleretraite
Montreal, Canada7,963 contributions
Oct 2017 • Friends
This Buddhist Temple is a Unesco World Heritage site and yet it does not seem to be very popular with the tourists ! Maybe it is because there are 16 other Unesco sites in Kyoto or because they mix it with the Higashi Honganji in the vicinity but for whatever reason , we were a very small group visiting it in the middle of the day . Here ,even though the buildings are impressive , the beauty is in the details specially in the finely carved wooden gate ! Further more , free guided tours are quite often available !
Written March 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paul N
Greater Perth, Australia72 contributions
Sep 2017 • Couples
Peaceful beautifully restored splendidly decorated temple. Only 15 minutes walk from Kyoto Station and 10 minutes walk from Higashi Honganji temple.
Entrance is free. Toilets, cafe and shop on the grounds. Friendly staff and multi language guides available.
We were fortunate to visit during the last day of the equinox service. We were welcomed to enjoy the event.
No bus loads of tourists.
Fantastic visit.
Written September 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CityLion
Singapore, Singapore31 contributions
Jun 2016 • Friends
At 6am..? there is a morning meditation. quiet sitting, then prayers. very beautiful, whether you have a religion/religious/..this has nothing to do when it comes to appreciating simply the beauty of silence,calm, and maybe some peace for some.. enjoy this space!
Written August 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 180
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Nishi Honganji

Nishi Honganji is open:
  • Sun - Sat 5:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Nishi Honganji tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 4 Nishi Honganji tours on Tripadvisor