Mt. Maya’s Tenjoji, the Temple in the Sky

A walk to Tenjoji near Kikuseidai of Mt. Maya, I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful dry landscape garden of the temple, and the heaven-like atmosphere of such serene temple. The viewing platform, Tenku no Daibutai offers a good view of the Seto Inland Sea, Awaji Island and the Akashi Bridge on a clear day.

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Art and Gardens at Monzeki Temple, Shoren-in

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.

Kurama-dera, the Mystical, One-of-a Kind Buddhist Temple

Kurama-dera is rich in history, said to be founded by the disciple of Ganjin (Jiazhen), connected to the Guardian of the North and one of the Four Heavenly Kings, Bishamonten, and was once home to famous samurai Moritomo no Yoshitsune. The temple is unique, having established its own Kurama-kokyo sect of Buddhism, worshiping the trinity Sonten which comprises of Bishamonten, the Thousand-Armed Kannon, and Mao-son, a god unique to this temple.