Onsen-ji

– Onsen-ji – 温泉寺 – Gero(下呂) – September 1, 2018   One of the top three onsen towns in Japan is Gero Onsen in Gifu Prefecture. It’s a lovely river-side city with many onsen to visit. If you venture little ways up the mountain away from the river, you can visit the onsen temple, Onsen-ji. One story form Gero Onsen’s history of over 1000 years is this. In 1265, the onsen’s hot water stopped. The following year, the villagers noticed a the flashing white wings of a white heron dancing on the riverbed of the Hida River every day. When…

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Kogane Shrine

Goshuin for Kogane Shrine

– Kogane Shrine – 金神社 – Gifu – 岐阜 – August 31, 2018 Kogane Shrine is written with the kanji for gold/money, but even without knowing any kanji it’s pretty obvious what people come here for: Luck with money. Why? When you walk up to the shrine, you’re welcomed by a giant gold torii. It is a shrine near the middle of Gifu and is closely connected to two other shrines in the area: Inaba Shrine and Kashimori Shrine. The god enshrined here is Nunoshihime-no-mikoto, wife of Inishiki-Irihiko-no-mikoto who is enshrined at Inaba Shrine and the mother of Ichihaya-no-mikoto at…

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Ryoan-ji

– Ryoan-ji – 龍安寺 – Kyoto(京都) – August 8, 2018 Ryoan-ji is a Zen temple and home to one of the world’s most famous rock gardens. Originally a villa belonging to the Fujiwara clan in the Heian Period, it was converted into a Buddhist temple in 1450 and the pond, which still exists today, was also installed. The rock garden itself is a mystery. No one knows when it was made, who made it, or what its purpose was. It’s 25 by 10 meters large with 15 differently sized stones arranged in five groups on top of moss islands surrounded…

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Kiyomizuera: Fudondou

– Kiyomizudera Fudondou – 清水寺不動堂 – Kyoto(京都) – August 7, 2018 Kiyomizudera (Pure Water Temple) is a sprawling temple in the Higashiyama part of Kyoto. The Hondo, or Main Hall, is famous for it’s stage that hangs over the hill below. Near the Hondo are several other shrines and temples. This is the goshuin for Fudondou located near Otowa Waterfall. The stage attached to the Hondo is about 43 feet above the hill and is built without nails using traditional methods. Down the stairs from it is Otowa Waterfall and Fudondou. Hundreds of people line up to drink from its…

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Kiyomizudera: Amida-ji

– Kiyomizudera Amida-ji – 清水寺阿弥陀寺 – Kyoto(京都) – August 7, 2018 Kiyomizudera (Pure Water Temple) is a sprawling temple in the Higashiyama part of Kyoto. The Hondo, or Main Hall, is famous for it’s stage that hangs over the hill below. Near the Hondo are several other shrines and temples. This is the goshuin for Amida-ji, a temple for the Amida Buddha The stage attached to the Hondo is about 43 feet above the hill and is built without nails using traditional methods. Down the stairs from it is Otowa Waterfall. Hundreds of people line up to drink from its…

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Kiyomizudera: Okuno-in

– Kiyomizudera Okuno-in – 清水寺奥之院 – Kyoto(京都) – August 7, 2018 Kiyomizudera (Pure Water Temple) is a sprawling temple in the Higashiyama part of Kyoto. The Hondo, or Main Hall, is famous for it’s stage that hangs over the hill below. Near the Hondo are several other shrines and temples. This is the goshuin for Okuno-in, a small temple just past the main hall. The stage attached to the Hondo is about 43 feet above the hill and is built without nails using traditional methods. Okuno-in, while a lovely building on its own, is probably the best place to take…

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Naritasan Shinshoji: Iouden

Naritasan Iouden Goshuin

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Iouden – 醫王殿 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017 Iouden is a very new temple that was built in 2017. Everything is so shiny and the fresh cut wood still smells amazing. I love old temples, but the smell of a newly built wood building is amazing. Also the fresh black lacquer was like black glass. It was beautiful. I visited home for the first time in almost two years during winter vacation this year. On the way home I had a whopping 8 hour layover in Narita, so I decided to…

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