May 26, 2012

Hiroshima Daibutsu in Gokurakuji Temple, Nara

On May 30th 2011, I read the new that Hiroshima Daibutsu was found in Gokurakuji Temple, Nara. Note that Daibutsu means giant statue of Buddha.

Hiroshima Daibutsu was enshrined to mourn for the victims of the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima city. But, the statue has gone missing since 1955.

In 2011, a Buddhist monk in Gokurakuji Temple read a book where Hiroshima Daibutsu was printed, and he thought that the statue in his temple was quite similar to Hiroshima Daibutsu. He asked the Nara National Museum to examine the statue. The Nara National Museum certified that the statue in Gokurakuji Temple is Hiroshima Daibutsu.

I went to Gokurakuji Temple on May 14th 2012. Public transportation is not a good way to go to the temple. I used a taxi from Hirahata Station of Kintetsu line. You can also use a taxi from JR Horyuji Station.

I prayed to Hiroshima Daibutsu. A Buddhist monk told me that Hiroshima Daibutsu was found two months after the Great East Japan Earthquake. This is no coincidence. The statue appeared to mourn for the victims of the earthquake. I agreed to his opinion.

Apr 22, 2012

Seisuiji Temple in Matsushiro

I went to Seisuiji Temple located in Matsushiro-cho Nagano prefecture on Oct 23th 2011. A beautiful 1000-handed Kannon is enshrined there. I think that the statue is the most beautiful in Nagano.

Apr 14, 2012

Night Viewing of cherry blossoms in To-ji Temple

When you arrive at Kyoto station by Shinkansen, you cannot miss the view of a five-story pagoda in To-ji Temple. The pagoda makes us feel that we come to Kyoto.

There is an event of night viewing in To-ji Temple from March 31th to April 15th this spring. I went to To-ji Temple on April 7th at night. It is the first time I have been to To-ji Temple at night.

I payed 500 Yen to enter the temple, and then walked to the pagoda. Cherry blossoms and the five-story pagoda were much more beautiful than I expected.

Mar 24, 2012

Most Beautiful Kannon Statue in Japan

There are many Kannon statues in Japan because Kannon is one of the most popular deities. Thus, we have a following question: what is the most beautiful Kannon statue in Japan? Although each of people who like to see a Buddhist statue has a different opinion, they agree that eleven faced Kannon in Doganji Temple Kannondo (Kogenji Temple) is one of the most beautiful Kannon statues in Japan.

After Daishiji Temple, I visited Doganji Temple Kannondo. I got off at JR Takatsuki Station. I then walked from the station to the temple. You can get a map at the Takatsuki tourist association next to the station.

The eleven faced Kannon is enshrined in the treasure house of Doganji Temple. To enter the house, you have to pay 300 YEN. There is a guide in the house. He/She tells you the detail of the Kannon. But, I think that he/she can speak only in Japanese.

You can go round the Kannon statue. It is beautiful from all angles. Among 11 faces, you should check a face that look behind. The face smiles very much. It is said that the face laughs off suffering.

Mar 19, 2012

Lying Statue of Kobo-Daishi in Daishiji Temple

After Soanji Temple, I went to Daishiji Temple. Daishi usually means Kobo-Daishi (Kukai) in Japan.

There is a unique statue of Kukai in Daishiji Temple. It is a lying statue of Kukai. Such a statue is enshrined only in Daishiji Temple. You can touch the lying statue while praying.

Daishiji Temple is located near Hikone Station. It is cozy. If you have spare time in Hikone I recommend to go to Daishiji Temple.

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Mar 18, 2012

Ishida Jizo in Soanji Temple

After Saifukuji Temple, I went to Soanji Temple. The purpose of visiting Soanji Temple is to see the Buddhist Statue of Jizo Bodhisattva (Bosatsu). The statue is called Ishida Jizo. The name derives from Mitsunari Ishida, a famous samurai. It is said that he always prayed to the Jizo Bosatsu statue.

People have images that Mitsunari Ishida was intelligent and he was a righteous person. When I stood in front of Ishida Jizo, I saw an intelligent look on its face.

In addition, I thought that its eyes were pure. The pure eyes proves that Mitsunari Ishida was a righteous person.

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Mar 17, 2012

Hikone Daibutsu in Saifukuji Temple

I visited Hikone city, Shiga Pref. on October 7th 2011. At first, I rented a bicycle from a local rental shop at Hikone Station. The fee was 500 YEN per day. I then rode a bicycle and went to Saifukuji Temple.

Saifukuji Temple belongs to Obaku-shu, the third sect of Zen Buddhism in Japan. Obaku-shu was transferred from China to Japan in the Edo period. Thus, The buildings of temples that belong to Obaku-shu look like Chinese style.

The Buddhist statue called Hikone Daibutsu is enshrined in the main hall of Saifukuji Temple It is Jizo Bodhisattva (Bosatsu). The height is 5.5m, and the color is gold.

Main hall

Hikone Daibutsu

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Feb 26, 2012

Shukubo Chisyakuin Kaikan

I stayed at Chisyakuin Kaikan. It is classified into Shukubo. Shukubo is similar to ryokan (minshuku). However, the owner of shukubo is temple. The main difference between shukubo and ryokan is that you can participate in Buddhist ceremony in the morning.

The price of Chisyakuin Kaikan is 6500 YEN a one night. In addition. if you would like to have dinner at Chisyakuin Kaikan, you can select syojin ryori (vegetarian meal) or traditional Kyoto meal. Their price is 1500 or 3000 YEN. That is, there are 4 choices: (1) 1500 YEN syojin ryori, (2) 3000 YEN syojin ryori, (3) 1500 YEN traditional Kyoto meal, and (4) 3000 YEN traditional Kyoto meal.

Note that if you cannot speak Japanese, you have to stay with a friend who can speak Japanese.

The following picture is the room I stayed.

I had 1500 YEN syojin ryori.

The next morning, I participated in Buddhist ceremony. Chisyakuin temple is the main temple of Shingon-shu Chizan-ha. Thus, many Buddhist monks also participated in the ceremony.

Next, you can see the temple's treasures with a monk. After that, you can have breakfast.

I stay at Chisyakuin Kaikan every year because the Buddhist ceremony is very impressive.

Feb 25, 2012

Golden Temple with Snow

I went to Kyoto on Feb 18. It snowed on Feb 17 in Kyoto. So, there are some snows left on the ground on Feb 18. When I saw some snows on the ground, I decided to go to Golden Temple (Kinkakuji Temple). This is because I have heard that Golden Temple with snow is very beautiful.

When I arrived at Kyoto station, I went to the bus stop for Golden Temple. But, there are long lines waiting for a bus because many people think that they want to see Golden Temple with snow.

I got off at the Kinkakuji-michi bus stop. Before I went to the temple, I saw some trees with snow. They looked like there were some flowers on the trees.

After that, I saw Golden Temple with snow. They were the most beautiful I have ever seen.

You can see other photos from here.