Gokuraku-ji: Gokuraku-ji (極楽寺), is the second Temple of the 88 Sacred Places of Shikoku Prefecture (四国八十八ヶ所巡り), in Japan. Founded by Gyōki in 815 and visited by Kōbō Daishi when he was 42 years of age. The garden on your left, as you walk towards the main hall, is a paradise garden called Unkai no Jōdo (雲海の浄土). Chōsokabe Motochika (長宗我部元親) and […]Read more ›
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Ryōzen-ji (霊山寺): Ryōzen-ji (霊山寺) is the starting point of the Sacred 88 Shikoku Pilgrimage Sites (四国八十八ヶ所巡り) in Tokushima, Japan. This temple is grouped with the “Hosshin no Dōjō” (発心 の 道場) or “Dōjō to Awaken Your Faith” comprising of temples 1 to 23. It has a store where you can buy the necessary items to start the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Yūben Shinnen […]Read more ›
Shikoku Pilgrimage: In the beginning of July I was in Shikoku, a little more than a two hour drive from Kyoto. We stayed in a resort hotel in the Naruto area. Since being so close to the first temple of the Shikoku Pilgrim (四国遍路) starting point, I took a look. I’ve been intrigued by this pilgrimage for some time and […]Read more ›
Azuma Asobi, the annual Reisai Ceremony at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto: The Azuma Asobi Dance is held every year, on June 15th, during the annual Reisai (例祭) ceremony at Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社) in Kyoto. When I arrived at Yasaka shrine, the Honden (本殿) was festively decorated and members of the Yasaka shrine community where entering to attend the ceremony. On […]Read more ›
Byakugo-ji history and quick facts: Byakugo-ji (白毫寺), a Buddhist temple situated at the foot of Mt. Takamado, in Nara City, Japan. It is believed to have been originally built as the villa of Prince Shiki (志貴皇子), the father of Emperor Kōnin (光仁天皇), and a famous poet from the 7th to 8th century. Prince Shiki’s father was the 38th Emperor of […]Read more ›
Rice Cake Lifting Matsuri: Every year, on February 23rd, the annual “Mochi age” (餅上げ) or “rice cake lifting” event is held at Daigo-ji Temple (醍醐寺) in Kyoto City. The rice cake lifting event is the high lite of the Godairikison Ninno-e Ceremony (五大力尊仁王会) and attracts many visitors from all over Japan. This ceremony dates back to the reign of Emperor […]Read more ›
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Mausoleum of A Warlord: Toyotomi Hideyoshi and my journey to his mausoleum. Today (Sunday April 10th), I explored a part of Kyoto that has been to my “to see list” for quite some time. So I hiked up to Amidagamine Mountain (阿弥陀ヶ峰) to visit the mausoleum of famous warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣 秀吉), who unified Japan in the […]Read more ›