Visitors to Kyoto quickly realize how crowded the city’s famous temples are. This tour is unique in offering the opportunity to visit a major yet quiet, uncrowded Buddhist temple complex, featuring the largest wooden building in the world. The temple is popularly known as Higashi Honganji and is located within easy walking distance of Kyoto Station. Your guide, a twenty-five year resident of Japan, is American-born Buddhist priest and scholar Rev. Dr. Brian Victoria. Dr. Victoria will introduce you to the fascinating history of this temple together with the doctrines and iconography of the True Pure Land sect of Buddhism with which it is affiliated. Following your visit to Higashi Honganji, the tour moves to nearby Shosei-en, a large, temple-affiliated, traditional Japanese garden, complete with ponds and tea houses. Dr. Victoria will explain the history of Japanese gardens and tea houses as well as answer any questions you may have about Buddhist beliefs and practices in general.