Nishi Honganji

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  • Established: 1321 (as Hongan-ji); 1602 (as Nishi Hongan-ji)
  • Japanese: 西本願寺 (nishi honganji)

The Honganji, established in 1321, was for centuries one of the most powerful temples in Japan. It was split in half, into East and West (Higashi and Nishi) in 1602, in a political effort to weaken the temple, though both remain quite famous and prominent today.

Nishi Honganji is the older site of the two, with a greater number of older buildings. While Higashi Honganji remains quite prominent, Nishi Honganji is the head temple of a much older and more prominent sect of Buddhism, namely the Jôdo Shinshû sect.

In addition to its many religious buildings, the Nishi Honganji complex includes bathing facilities originally constructed for Toyotomi Hideyoshi's Jurakutei.


  • Plaques on-site.

External Links