Admiring the wild rock garden designed by Muso Soseki at Zuisenji, a Rinzai sect. of Zen Buddhism temple located in eastern Kamakura. Also called the Temple of Flowers, the flower garden in the temple features various flowers across the four seasons, and is especially famous for its plum blossom.
Taking a trip back in time, learning about feudal Kai Province’s pride – Takeda Shingen while visiting the shrine dedicated to this famous daimyo, famously known as the Tiger of Kai – the Takeda Jinja.
Hearing the weep of a dragon at the temple which was used to store Buddhist statues from Nagano’s famous Zenkoji during the Sengoku Period. The highlight of this visit is the Kaidan Meguri experience to find the lock to the hidden main statue.
Quiet day at the Nyakuichioji Jinja in Omachi. In July, the shrine hosts the Nyakuichioji Jinja Reisai, a festival centering on kodomo yabusame (child horseback archery), which is rare in Japan.
Continuing my temples visit in Bessho Onsen, I visited Kitamuki Kannon, literally “Facing-North Kannon”, which is unusual as temples usually faces south. This Tendai sect. temple faces the Buddha statue in famous Zenkoji in Nagano directly and is popular as a love fulfillment spot.
Visiting Anraku-ji, the oldest Soto sect. of Zen Buddhism temple in Nagano which boost the only surviving octagonal pagoda in Japan. Located near Bessho Onsen, 30 minutes away from Ueda city, this temple deserves more attention for its history and links to Kencho-ji’s Rankei Doryu.
The quiet temple of Choanji allows visitors to appreciate the creativity of the over 200 rakan statues scattered around the temple. Some serious, while some with amusing expressions, this temple is a paradise for photography.
Exploring the large grounds of Sanzen-in, Ohara’s most popular temple, built by Saicho, the founder of Tendai sect. of Buddhism. Enjoying the pleasant autumn scenery in the moss garden and amusing myself with the laughing Buddhas.
Enjoying three distinct gardens at Hōsen-in, especially famous for the view of a “framed” garden from the tatami room. The blood-stained ceilings from Fushimi Castle creates a contrasting feeling of solemness against the serenity of the garden scenery.
Exploring another bamboo temple, this time in Kamakura’s Hokokuji Temple, family temples of the Ashikaga clan and later the Uesugi clan.
Shoren-in, a Tendai sect. Monzeki temple, offers a range of enjoyable experience, from its fusuma paintings, garden view from tatami room, garden stroll around a pond – Ryujin-no-Ike, and even a view of the temple and garden from above. The main object of worship here is the Shijoko Nyorai Mandala and the temple even has a painting of a blue Fudo Myo-o which is a national treasure.