If you leave Kyoto Station and head north along Karasuma Street, you will reach Higashi Honganji Temple in no time. This is the head temple of the Otani sect of Shinshu Buddhism, a branch of the Jodo Shinshu sect. Even though it is located in a prime area not far from the station, its precincts are spacious. The Higashi Honganji temple was founded here in 1602, about 270 years before the Kyoto station was opened. This means that Higashi Honganji is incomparably older than the station.
The precincts of Higashi Honganji are surrounded by a wall, and a moat filled with water has been dug near the wall. Rather than protecting the precincts from outside enemies, the bridge was built to make the precincts a sanctuary and a boundary between the sanctuary and the secular world, and it is said to function as a symbol to invite people to cross the bridge from the secular world to the sanctuary. It is true that the moat in Higashi Honganji is narrow. Even in pre-modern times, it must have been easy to cross it if you really wanted to.
Standing beside the moat and looking toward Kyoto Station, I saw that the wall and moat were straight, with Kyoto Tower towering at the end. The tower was clearly visible in the calm water of the moat.
April 5, 2021
Higashi Honganji, Kyoto
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF