The Goeido is the main hall of the Higashi Honganji (East Honganji) temple. The Goeido is Kyoto’s largest wooden structure and it is dedicated to Shinran, the founder of the Otani faction of Jodo-shin (True Pure Land) Buddhism.
Located in the centre of Kyoto, a ten minute walk from the main railway station, the temple is an oasis of peace and a wonderful place to experience contemporary Japanese Buddhism or retire for a quiet hour of introspection.
This Japanese dragon (竜 ryū) resides in the Goeido’s courtyard. Its wingless style, with a serpentine body and clawed feet, is influenced by Chinese art. In Japanese mythology the dragon represents a water deity associated with rainfall.
Legends tell of dragons living in ponds and lakes near temples, bringing good fortune and prosperity. Although I have been unable to capture one on film, I was able to find a goldfish for you instead.