Buddhist Church of San Francisco


The Buddhist Church of San Francisco

Founded in 1898, this church is the oldest Jodo Shinshu (Pure Land) Buddhist temple that is affiliated with the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA). Buddhism is founded on the teachings of Sakyamuni Buddha. His teachings originated in India and came to the United States through Asia. The Jodo Shinshu Sect and is one of the major religions of Japan. Our sect's mother temple is the Nishi Hongwanji temple in Kyoto.

Jodo Shinshu Buddhism teaches us to live a life of gratitude, knowing that The Buddha's Boundless Compassion surrounds all living beings.

The Hondo at BCSF

The church welcomes all visitors and is more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Inside the Hondo (main hall), you will find a statue of Amida Buddha (Buddha of Infinite Wisdom and Compassion). To the right of the statue, you will see a scroll with a picture of Shinran Shonin (1173-1263). Shinran Shonin is the founder of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.


Statue of the founder of Jodo Shinshu



A statue of Shinran Shonin can be seen in the foyer of the church. A pamphlet on the meaning of the altar pieces is available.











Stupa on the roof of 1881 Pine

 On the roof of this church is a stupa that houses the Holy Relics of The Buddha. The Relics were a gift to the BCA by the Emperor of Siam (Thailand) in 1935.

Statue of the Young Buddha in the stupa












Office Hours


The BCSF Office is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  

We are closed for lunch between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m.

Resident Minister

In March 2009, we welcomed Reverend Ronald Kobata as our resident Minister.

Learn more about our Reverend. View his resume.


Rev. Kobata


Dear Dharma Friends,

Welcome to the Buddhist Church of San Francisco website.  Thank you for your interest or curiosity to learn about our Jodo Shinshu Buddhist sangha, and the Buddha Dharma in general.  I hope you find the information provided here helpful in making a connection with our community, and will encourage you to come to, as the Buddhist motto has it, “see/understand for yourself”. 

We are pleased to offer a variety of programs and activities that engage different ages in religious, educational, recreational, and social activities that we intend to enhance the spiritual basis for our community.  Through your participation we affirm the meaning of Sangha which celebrates the truth of our Oness in living the teachings (Dharma) that are the expression of the Buddha’s enlightenment. 

All of the schools of Buddhism share an appreciation of the Three Treasures of Life: Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.  From this spiritual foundation the Jodo Shinshu- Nishi Hongwanji denomination, which the BCSF is affiliated, was established here in San Francisco in 1898 by immigrants from Japan who had a deep appreciation and conviction that Shin Buddhism would be an invaluable spiritual resource for them to endure the challenges of adapting to a new socio-cultural environment.  They realized that in Buddhism’s spread throughout Asia it had a quality of acculturating to new societies by inspiring a sense of perseverance, and awareness of personal responsibility for one’s life, and interdependency with all Life. 

Today we are the beneficiaries of our predecessor’s dedication to living and preserving the Buddha Dharma for future generations, and to promote well-being and harmony in the world.  It is my sincere wish that you’ll find the BCSF website to be a welcoming and open invitation to pursue your interest in living a life of awakening by participating in our temple activities.  We would also welcome any suggestions or interests that you have about how we could improve the website or enhance other aspects of our sangha’s engagements.

In Gassho (palms together in reverence), 

Rev. Ronald Kobata, Resident Minister 

Upcoming Events

10/25/2014 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Shizue Nakao Memorial Service

10/25/2014 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Evening Metta Service w/ Elaine Donlin Sensei ネブラスカ

10/26/2014 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Eitaikyo (Perpetual Memorial Service)

10/26/2014 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Japanese Service 日本のサービス

10/27/2014 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Gentle Yoga

10/28/2014 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Tai Chi

10/29/2014 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Mindfulness Meditation 熟考

10/30/2014 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Essentials of Jodo Shinshu

11/02/2014 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Fall Youth Service

11/02/2014 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Pancake Breakfast 朝食にパンケーキ

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