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Showing posts with the label Buddhist temple

Narita-san Shinsōji Temple

Niōmon Gate (1830)
An unplanned layover at Narita Airport yielded a pleasant surprise. With a whole morning free before returning to Narita Airport for an early evening flight, we took the shuttle bus from our hotel to Narita City. We walked to Narita-san Shinshō-ji Buddhist temple from the drop off point. The temple is located at the end of a busy, shop-lined street called Omotesando. It was the Setsubun Festival (in late January) and the streets in and around the temple were packed with visitors and pilgrims who, like us, were distracted by the many food stalls and enticing curio shops along the way. Setsubun is the celebration of the beginning of spring (according to the lunisolar calendar).

Three Storied Pagoda
Narita-san was founded in the year 940. It is a lead temple of the Chisan branch of the New Shingon sect of Buddhism. Some of the buildings in the complex are designated National Important Cultural Properties including the Three Storied Pagoda that dates back to 1712 and t…

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

West Gate and Three Storied Pagoda
Kiyomizu-dera has one of the most enviable locations in Kyoto. Set in the wooded hills of eastern Kyoto, it has a commanding view of the city that was once the capital of Japan.  Kiyomizu-dera or the Pure Water Temple has been around since 778. It was named after the Otowa waterfall which flows down from a spring in the mountain above the hills. It is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Kita Hosso sect. 
Kiyomizu Stage
The Hondo or Main Hall was built in 1633. It has an impressive veranda known as the Kiyomizu Stage. It hangs 13 meters above the hillside and is supported by wooden pillars which were assembled without using a single nail. It is held together by wooden braces. The floor of the stage is made of cypress boards. The Hondo is considered a national treasure and is a Unesco World Cultural Heritage site.
The pillars supporting the stage
It's a quite a climb up the hill to the temple halls but there are several spots to stop and rest along…