A Japanese Buddhist temple is, in fact, a complex of buildings, each with a precise role in the temple’s services, but it is almost impossible to describe a “typical” temple, because their architecture, designation and name varies considerably from sect to sect and depending on the historical era.
However, what is commonly identified as the temple is the main building, generically known as the Main Hall, Hondō in Japanese. At To-ji, in Kyoto, an older term is still used for the main building, Kondō, meaning “golden hall". Originally Kondō was used for the first Japanese Buddhist temples, during the Asuka and Nara period and comes from the fact that the interior of the building was covered in golden foil…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: