Kinshoku-ji Temple was founded by Jikakutaishi, who was the third head priest of Hiei-zan Enryaku-ji Temple. It is said he followed a vision received in a dream and discovered a pine tree in which the spirit resided. He built the temple from the tree and placed a statue of Bishamonten there.
In 1235, more than three hundred years later, Shinran renovated the temple and installed Amida statue. According to a legend, during the renovation of the temple, a heavenly maiden descended on the temple and offered the brocade woven with lotus threads to the statue. Upon hearing the story, the imperial Court gave the temple a name, “Tenjingohou Kinshoku-no-ji”, roughly translated as a brocade temple protected by the heavenly gods, thus, the temple became known as Kinshoku-ji.
In the vast precinct of the temple stands the Amida-dou building in which the main Buddhism statue is enshrined and is designated as a Shiga prefecture important cultural asset. Other notable buildings are Goei-dou where Shinran’s portrait is kept, a treasure storage, a study room, a lecture hall and a bell tower.
Despite the fact the temple was destroyed by fires on numerous occasions, Miyagoden, made from a part of the imperial palace given by Emperor Higashiyama, survived and is intact today along with many valuable artifacts kept inside. One of such artifacts is the portrait of Shinran who just finished writing his masterpiece, “Kenjoudo Kyougyoushoumonrui”. The portrait reveals his profound sense of satisfaction.
Nobeoka Daishi Festival is held in April every year in the area centered around Imayama in Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture. It is the biggest spring event in the northern part of the prefecture and counted as one of the three largest spring festivals in Kyushu.
At the top of Mt. Imayama stands a statue of Kobo Daishi Kukai, which was erected in 1957. With a height of 17 meters and a weight of 11 tons, it is the largest statue of Kobo Daishi in Japan. Familiarly called “Odai’ssan,” Kobo Daishi has been respected by the people in Nobeoka as well as by the people all over the country. The festival is held for three days around March 21 on Lunar Calendar to commemorate the anniversary of his death and give gratitude to him.
The main event is the daimyo’s procession held on the final day. 1,700 citizens including Mayor participate in the parade wearing samurai’s or princesses’ costumes and walk through the city, dancing various local dances.
Koutou Temple, where this statue of the reclining Buddha reposes, was built for the Arima clan in 1558 (Eiroku). However, the temple was moved to Shimabara when Shimabara Castle was constructed, and became the temple of the Matsukura Family.
The present temple was rebuilt in 1790 (Kansei 2), and there is a painting of the reclining Buddha, which was dedicated as a celebration of the reconstruction. Today's statue of the reclining Buddha was made in 1957 (Showa 32), after the painting's dedication.
The reclining Buddha is 8.6m long from head to toe, and 2.12m high. 'Nehan' is the Japanese word for Nirvana and refers to a spiritual state where the fire of worldly desire has disappeared and wisdom has been accomplished. It is also used as an expression for the dying Buddha (Buddha entering into parnirvana), which is known as the 'reclining Buddha'.
The statue of the reclining Buddha portrays Buddha preaching to his pupils on his deathbed under the paired sal trees of Kusinara, which was near his hometown.
Kannon Temple is a Yuzu Nembutsu temple on Mt Otowa in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture.
Kannon Temple is the 8th temple of Amadera Sanju-Rokkasho. In the Hakuho period, when Nakatomi no Kamatari's son, Jo-e, enshrined his father at Myoraku Temple, he established Kannon Temple to exorcize devils. The temple includes a statue of Sahasrabhuja-arya-avalokiteśvara, which was carved from a single tree by Kamatari.
During the Heian period, Kannon Temple prospered and was known as Otowa Hyakubo. In 876, however, much of the temple was destroyed in a flood.
The temple's principle deity is, of course, Sahasrabhuja-arya-avalokiteśvara, which is known as Otowa's Kannon. The temple grounds feature several special spots, such as Otowa spring (said to be good for eye diseases), and a ginkgo tree (said to bring good fortune).
Nara Daigan Temple is an Omuro Shingon Buddhist temple in Ouda-ku, Uda, Nara Prefecture. The name of the mountain where it is sited is Mt Satta.
Nara Daigan Temple is also called Shichifuku-ji. Soga-no-umako established the temple on the order of the prince Shotoku. During the Edo period, the Uda Matsuyama clan preserved it.
The principal image of Nara Daigan Temple is a statue of the Eleven-headed Kannon-bosatsu. The temple was once burnt down yet the image was saved miraculously. As a result, the image is now called the 'Non-burning Kannon'.
It is also believed that the image can help avert fire disasters. Within the precinct, rare items include Buddhist stones and Fudezuka of Morino Yoshinori. It is famous for its Lenten fare.
Ono Temple belongs to the Muroji Shingon Sect of Buddhism and is located in Muro-ku, Uda, in Nara Prefecture. The temple's sango title is Mt Yoryu.
Ono Temple is a branch temple of Muro Temple and, because of its location west of this, it was also called the 'West Gate of Muro Temple'. The temple was built by Enno Gyoja in 681. In 824, Kukai built a saya and named it Jisonin Miroku Temple, but it came to be called Ono Temple after its location.
The Miroku Gesho Senkoku Daimagaibutsu, seen carved on the Byobugaura on the opposite shore by the Uda River, was carved in 1207 by a mason named Inoyukisue from Song Dynasty China; it is the largest Senkoku Daimagaibutsu in Japan.
Trees within the precinct of the temple include the large 'benishidare' (a type of cherry) growing here in rows, as well as the 300-year-old giant 'koitoedatare' (another type of cherry), which blossoms beautifully in the spring.
Hashimoto Temple is a Koya-san Shingon temple located in Nara Prefecture. The priest Gyogi established this temple under the order of the Gensho Emperor.
Hashimoto Temple was burnt down once, but after reforming, it was transformed to the present place. It is also called Hashimoto-in because the former temple once had a bridge ('hashi').
Hashimoto Temple is one of the seven Tenporin temples. It is notable as the temple where the priest Ganjin was once resident. There is a 5.4m tall statue of the eleven-headed Kannon, which is the center of worship every 21st day of the month and during the Higan Hoyo, which takes place in spring and autumn.
Kuhon-ji Temple belongs to the Jodo-chionin sect and is located on the east side of Mt Katsuragi in Nara Prefecture. As a mountain temple it is known as Kaina-yama, and is also called Temple of Stone Buddhas.
Gyogi-osho founded the temple following a proclamation by the Shomu Emperor in the Nara period. It flourished again as a Kaina-senbo temple when Kukai (Kobo Daishi) came here.
The main statue of the temple is a wooden Amida-nyorai seated figure made in the late Heian period and has been designated as an Important National Cultural Asset.
The temple is also famous for its many stone Buddha statues. 1800 stone Buddha statues called the '1000 Stone Buddhas' line the way up the mountain to the temple. They are said to have been dedicated to console soldiers of the Narahara Clan who died in the battle against the North Imperial Court.
You can see the Three Yamato Mountains from high points on the mountain, and Kuhon-ji Temple is also popular as a great scenic spot.