Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine

– Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine – 大阪天満宮 – Osaka(大阪) – March 25, 2018 Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine is one of the many important shrines in Japan. It enshrines the god of scholarship, Sugawara no Michizane, so it’s very popular with students. It was built in 949 AD by the emperor Murakami, but it was burnt down and rebuilt a number of times throughout history. The building we see today was built in 1845. Tenjin Matsuri, a boat festival, is hosted here. We stopped by here real quick. I was impressed by the details around the roof. Location:    

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Hozenji

Hozenji Goshuin

– Hozenji – 法善寺 – Osaka(大阪) – February 3, 2018 Dude had to go to Kansai for a wedding, so I decided to tag along to do some of my own sightseeing. It’s not very often I get to freely explore the city. Naturally, I searched for a few shrines and temples to visit in the Nanba area, and Hozenji is a small temple right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Nanba. If you notice the date, I visited on February 3, 2018. It might not look special, but it was Setsubun, a special holiday where you…

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Namba Yasaka Shrine

Nanba Yasaka Shrine Goshuin

– Namba Yasaka Shrine – 難波八坂神社 – Osaka(大阪) – February 3, 2018 I decided to tag along with Dude to Kansai and was going to have a lot of time to myself to explore Namba, so naturally I started looking into the shrines and temples in the Namba area. I had a few misadventures because it was my first time navigating Osaka alone, but I managed to visit Namba Yasaka Shrine and Hozenji. The moment I saw photos of this shrine online I knew I wanted to go see it for myself. The lion-head stage is massive and very striking.…

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Naritasan Shinshoji: Great Peace Pagoda

Naritasan Great Peace Pavillion Goshuin

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Great Peace Pagoda – 平和大塔 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017 The Great Peace Pagoda, or Heiwa no Daito, is massively tall structure that was built in 1984. The prayer area is up the stairs, and down on the ground level you can enter a museum. It’s down here that you receive your goshuin. The gentlemen there clipped a numbered clip to my goshuincho, gave me a matching token, and set me loose to check out the displays. When I visited, they had a collection of woodblock prints and paintings on display.…

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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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Naritasan Shinshoji: Komyodo

Goshuin from Naritasan Komyodo

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Komyodo – 光明堂 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017 Komyodo is a small temple building that was built in 1701. Nearby, you can see the open air hall, Gakudo. For some reason, I really liked the way Gakudo looked. Something about the plaques and signs hanging all over it felt nice. 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 go check out Narita-san Temple. Naritasan Shinshoji has…

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Naritasan Shinshoji: Shusse Inari

Naritasan Shuse Inari Goshuin

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Shusse Inari – 出世稲荷 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017 Shusse Inari is an example of the odd mixing that occurred between Shinto and Buddhism in Japan. It’s totally a shinto style inari shrine but it’s a temple. Unlike most of the locations on the Naritasan Shinshoji grounds, it also doesn’t appear on the English information map but does appear on the Japanese one. I’m not sure why. I visited home for the first time in almost two years during winter vacation this year. On the way home I had a whopping…

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Naritasan Shinshoji: Shakado

Goshuin from Shakado in Naritasan Shinshoji

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Shakado – 釈迦堂 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017   Shakado is one of the temples on the grounds of Naritasan Shinshoji. It was built in 1858 and was originally the main hall before the Great Main Hall was built. It’s much smaller than the Great Main Hall. I visited home for the first time for my winter vacation this year. My itinerary included a whopping 8 hour layover in Narita, so I decided to go check out Narita-san Temple. Naritasan Shinshoji has several temples on the grounds and you can get…

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Naritasan Shinshoji: Great Main Hall

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Great Main Hall – 大本堂 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017 The Great Main Hall (Daihondo) was built in 1986, making it one of the newer buildings on the grounds. When you walk through the gate, across the bridge, and up the stairs, this is the huge building that dominates the plaza. To the right of it is the beautifully painted three story pagoda that was built in 1712. I visited home for the first time in almost two years during winter vacation this year. On the way home I had a…

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Gosha Shrine / Suwa Shrine

– Gosha Shrine / Suwa Shrine -五社神社/諏訪神社– Hamamatsu (浜松) – October 21, 2017   Gosha Shrine / Suwa Shrine is a nice sized shrine in Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. There used to be two separate shrines, but they merged in 1960. It’s not a very far walk from Hamamatsu Station. I visit Hamamatsu every year for the big Zen Nihon Iaido Renmei Taikai. This year I decided to go a bit early on Saturday so I could visit a shrine or two before the banquet. It was raining pretty hard, so I only went to one: Gosha Shrine / Suwa…

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