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 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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Miagatahikosha Yatagarasu goshuin

– Miagatahikosha – 御県彦社 – Nachi (那智) – July 20, 2017 In addition to the Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine goshuin, you can also get the Miagatahikosha goshuin. It features Yatagarasu. There is is lot of Yatagarasu imagery all over the Katsuura and Nachi area. According to legend, Yatagarasu guided Emperor Jimmu from Kumano to Yamato Province. You can also buy an omamori with Yatagarasu on it for victory. Because the same person wrote them, this goshuin and the Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine one look very similar. Kumano Nachi Taisha was the last location we visited before returning to Katsuura. It…

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Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine

Kumano Nachi Taisha's goshuin

– Kumano Nachi Taisha – 熊野那智大社 – Nachi (那智) – July 20, 2017 Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine is one of the three main shrines of the Kumano Kodo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It and the neighboring Seiganto-ji are one of the few remaining jingu-ji. This was the last location we visited before returning to Katsuura. It was very hot and humid that day, especially after the rain. Taking a bath in the onsen at Nakanoshima Hotel was a wonderful end to the day. This goshuin is in my Nachi Falls goshuincho. Location

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Seiganto-ji goshuin

– Seiganto-ji– 青岸渡寺 – Nachi (那智) – July 20, 2017   Seiganto-ji is a Tendai Buddhist temple up on the mountain near Nachi Falls. It and the area around Nachi Falls is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located next to Nachi Grand Shrine, it is one of the few remaining jingu-ji. We visited on a Thursday during summer vacation. Since it was a weekday, it wasn’t very busy. We did have to wait for some sudden rain to stop before we walked up the mountain. The lady at the gift shop was nice enough to lend us some abandoned umbrellas.…

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Hirou Shrine

– Hirou Jinja– 飛瀧神社 – Nachi (那智) – July 20, 2017   Hirou Shrine is located at the base of Nachi Falls (Nachi no Taki) and enshrines the falls. The falls are the tallest unbroken, straight waterfall in Japan and this area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are two Hirou Shrines: Hirou Shine Shamusho and Hirou Shrine Otakihaisho. The former is free, but in order to walk up close to the falls and see the latter, you need to pay a small fee. If you do, it’s beautiful. Nachi Falls are mesmerizing to watch. I sat around staring…

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Nachi Falls Goshuincho

Nachi Falls goshuincho

Nachi Falls Goshuincho When: July 20, 2017 Where: Hirou Shrine Shamusho and Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine Size: Large (12cm x 18cm)   I actually forgot my goshuincho when I went to Katsuura and Nachi for summer vacation in 2017, so I bought a new one at Nachi Falls. Since the Inuyama Castle goshuincho only had a few more blank pages left anyway. I actually bought this at Hirou Shrine near the base of the falls, but it says Kumano Nachi Taisha on the back. I can’t remember how much this was, but it was 1000 yen for the book and…

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– Chishaku-in– 智積院 – Kyoto (京都) – June 17, 2017   Chishaku-in was the last place we visited before the iaido taikai banquet. It’s a Buddhist temple in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto. It was built in the 1500’s and is famous for its beautiful garden and also its collection of painted panels. Sadly, we were tired and mostly just enjoyed the garden after visiting the temple. Next year I’ll go look at the panels. This goshuin is in my Inuyama Castle Goshuincho. Location

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– Sanjusangendo– 三十三間堂 – Kyoto (京都) – June 17, 2017 Sanjusangendo is a 120 meter long temple in Kyoto that was built in 1164. Why is it so long? Because inside it has 1001 statues of Kannon. They’re all a bit taller than an adult man. In the middle of the building sits a large and intricate statue of Kannon. Sanjusangendo means “33 Spaces,” referring to the 33 spaces that between the columns in the building. It is the longest wooden building in Japan. It is located in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto. I was staying at Hotel Tozankaku for…

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