5 ways of doing at temples in Japan.

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The reason why visiting temples

I am keen on visiting temples 10 years ago. It is the reason that impressed by a huge buddha statue at Todai-ji in Nara when I went to a junior high school trip. I forgot that feeling for a long time, however I have remembered it when I was so tired of my whole life. Thus, I decided to going there again. It got same impact for seeing a huge temple and be interested in other buddha statues. Furthermore, the grounds of temples are great and give me an energy.

I have received the best impact to the great buddha hall with huge statues inside. it is the most biggest wooden building of all over the worlds. Perhaps, you went there, you would surprise its size. It was built in 752, I shocked that ancients built the huge building because of not to proceed any technology at that time. Moreover, I have a questions that why they built many huge temples and statues. I thought the ancients have better technology than today and would like to see more historical buddha ones.

After that, I have been to Nara or Kyoto where are historical city in Japan 2-4 times a year for 6 years. Finally, I moved to Kyoto in 2020. I prefer to live there because of historical buddha cultures by my side. I discovered how to enjoy visiting at temples. I will introduce 5 ways to do at the temples in Japan.

How to do at the temple (1): Buddha statues

My favorite doing is seeing Buddha statues in temples. There are various Buddha statues types and I prefer to look for my favorite ones while walking around temples. I recommend to go to Nara that there are lot of incredible temples. Because Nara started Buddhism cultures at the first time in Japan and many valuable Buddha statutes were made at the period.

Nara has the most number of national treasure of Buddha statues in Japan. There is the most famous buddha in Todai-ji. Usually, most tourists go there to seeing Buddha statues and deer. It is an important tourism spot in Nara. some Buddha statues are the height of over 10m with powerful. In addition, their figures are like real human with great muscles. Kofuku-ji temple has also a lot of famous Buddha statues in japan. Ashura is the popular of Buddha statue lovers. A lot of fun went seeing to him from each places. He is very handsome and delicates. I like him as well. If you prefer to go to museums, you would enjoy seeing Buddha statues.

It is my opinion, if your hobby is collecting character figures like MARVEL or STAR WARS, you should go seeing Buddha statues. I am also interested in sculptures with stereoscopic. When I was students, I were keen on them. However, I prefer to seeing historical statues. There are realism and so cool that seems to move at any time. I am looking for my favorite ones anywhere. If you are interested in seeing Buddha statues, definitely I would recommend to go to Nara.

My recommend a guide book of Buddha statues in Japan
Understanding Japanese Buddhist Sculpture through Visual Comparison: (Pocket Guide Series)

How to enjoy the temple (2): Gardens

Some tourists are the purpose that going to temples where taking walks around their gardens. There are a lot of flowers, trees and plants on sach seasons. For instance, Sakura( or Cherry blossoms) is the most popular flower on spring in Japan. It is the most number of tourists who comes to Japan of all seasons. Tsutusuji( or Azalea)is a popular flower of Japanese people. It blooms after the period of cherry blossoms. They are many colours with various pink, red and white. If a mountain has a lot of their plants, It would change pink from green at the period. It is so awesome.

June is a rainy season in Japan. Sightseeing is not popular on the period, however you can see special scenes on or after rainy days. Ajisai (or Hydrangea) is the most famous flower on June. They are also various colours and shapes and more beautiful with getting wet. Kamakura and Kyoto are famous city with Ajisai. Mimuroto-ji in Kyoto has 20,000 plants of the Ajisai garden. You can see so lovely flowers there. Koke (or Moss) is a most beautiful which green colour settles in deeper on rainy days as well.

Autumn leaves are proud of nature in Japan. There are a lot of Kaede (or Maple) and Icho ( or Ginkgo)which changes red or yellow. Many tourists prefer to go to Kyoto on autumn because of a collaboration with Buddhism building and changed leaves. The scenes are so wonderful and exciting. You should take many photos and memorize their scenery. My favorite season when going temples are on autumn. If you come to Japan on the season, you might love Japan. In addition, many temples are in suburbs or mountains. You can do hiking on hill and mountains. You can see a lot of great sceneries.

The funs of takings walks are not limited blooming flowers. Do you know Karesansui Gardens or Kaiyu-shiki Teien ( or a stroke-style garden around a big pond) ? They are typical gardens of Japanese temples. It seems to big traditional temples in Kamakura and Kyoto. Karesansui Gardens are Zen garden which expressed Zen learning such as Life. It is makes by various rocks, stones, sands and mosses. It is interesting to ponds or water that drawing patterns by sands.

Most Karesansui gardens don’t have seasonal flowers therefore you can enjoy them anytime. In addition, Karesansui gardens often borrow sceneries surround mountains. They are not only gardens but also enjoying surround on seasonal changes. Karesansui-gardens seem to a pictures painted by Chinese ancients. You should bring a guide book or an audio to learning of Zen gardens because of a lot of meant there.

On the other hands, Kaiyu-shiki teien is enjoying on season. Generally, it has a pond with surround paths to take pleasure flowers, plants and trees. You don’t forget any fishes on a pond. In the past, their gardens were built for Japanese emperors and nobles, because Buddhism faith have been for them at a long period not to spread on general publics.

The guide book of Zen garden in Kyoto.

How to enjoy the temple (3): Experiences

You can experience training of Buddhism learning such as Zazen meant meditation. Nowadays, meditation is said to be important for occupied people. It has an effect to get better such as relaxing, clarify the blain and efficiency work. People are the significant to focus on the time. The experiences teach how to focus and take a walk in the life. You will get tips to become better in your life.

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There are a lot of experiences in temples, such as the copying of Buddhism sutras or the drawing of Buddha, anymore. If you write Kanji ( or Chinese characters) , you should try to do Shakyo (or the copying of Buddhism sutras) because of easy to concentrate on the time. In contrast, Meditation and drawing are recommended for anybody, You will get an opportunity to touch in Zen learning.

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Sometimes there are Zen experiences for foreigners. Few monks of temples can speak English well, They explain about learning or preaching of Zen. Their preaching issues are always based on general life and so funny depend on stories. Japanese Buddhists prefer to the preaching by monks. It’s so a greatly.

You can book Zen experiences.
A true taste of Zen at an internationally-recognized temple town inn | Experiences in Japan
Experience Zen at an inn set beside Japan’s most historic Zen Buddhist temples

How to enjoy the temple (4): Goshuin

Goshuin means red ink stamps with letters which written from Japanese temple or shrines. It is a certificate visiting and worship at them. Some tourists collect those red ink stamps such as memorial ones. It is popular to foreign travellers as well. You need to get a book to collect Goshuin and it is a possible purchase in famous temple or shrines. There are a various designed book and you will enjoy choosing your favorite.

Source: Photo AC

The price of books is for 1,500 yen to 2,000 yen ( from £8.5 to £12). You need to pay for 300yen to 500yen (£1.6 or £2.8) on cash (yen). If you travel around Japanese temples, you should have cash because most temples not to pay for except cash. Goshuin is originated in Japanese temples, you can touch in Japanese traditional culture. Moreover, you need to be proof for Buddhism while you take Goshuin. It is a sacred act.

Okayama Shrines and Temples: Omoto Shrine (Goshuin Adventures)

How to enjoy the temple (5): Pilgrimage

Source: Photo AC

Pilgrimage is the experience for advanced. There are various type of pilgrimages of Buddhists in Japan. The traditional ones are often 33 or 88 temples. the number is the important of Buddhism. If you spent a long time in Japan, you can try to go on the pilgrimage. You get special Goshuin while you go around on the pilgrimage. If you were completed it, you would come true your wish.

Source: Photo AC

Ohenro ( 88 temples on the pilgrimage around Shikoku island) is the most famous pilgrimage of Japan. Shikoku island has a lot of nature in local and you can take a relaxing time. Otherwise, I recommend to go to other pilgrimage for travellers. It is not hard and the less number of temples. If you go around the pilgrimage site on foot, you will learn a lot such as difficulties when you started at that time. You should check tourists information centers in your favorite place.

Let’s enjoy taking walks around temples.

I introduced how to take walks around temples. If you come sightseeing to Japan, you would go to some temples. There are a lot of doing in temples such as relaxing, learning, experiences and anymore. I am glad to refer to this article. If you need to help sightseeing in Japan, I could help you. Please contact me. Thank you for reading to the end.

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