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A strange sight amidst a traditional street scene.
Many shops dealing in Buddhist artifacts are located on the east side of Horikawa Street, opposite Nishi Hongan-ji Temple. In one corner of this traditional scene, there stands a mysterious red-brick structure - Nishi Hongan-ji Dendo-in, built in 1912. The dome on the roof is reminiscent of a mosque, while the hexagonal stupa may bring to mind visions of India. Constructed during the first quarter of the 20th century, this ostensibly Western-style building has a distinctly exotic air about it. Adding to this air is an arrangement of granite pillars, placed as if to surround the building and set this world apart from another. An elephant with wings, a lion with a unique expression, and carvings of other strange beings are perched on the pillars. Who knows what hidden meanings these images hold? A stroll here is akin to a glimpse into another dimension.

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