NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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安楽寺八角三重塔(国宝) Anraku-ji Hakkakusanjuu-no-toh Anrakuji Temple Pagoda

Jp En

At Anrakuji Temple, there is a three-storied octagonal pagoda among the pine trees lining the road from Mt. Ogami in Ueda Shinshu.

Anrakuji Temple is said to have been established in the early Heian period, but its history before the Kamakura period is vague. This pagoda is the oldest building in the temple complex of Anrakuji. In addition, it is the only existing octagonal pagoda in Japan and also a very rare example of a Zen three-storied pagoda.

The pagoda is 18.75m tall. Its Zen architectural features include the connections between the pillars and the radial baulks that decorate the impressive octagonal roof. Even the Buddhist altar is octagonal. There is a Dainichi-Nyorai statue, which is very rarely seen in a Zen structure. The pagoda looks four-storied but the lowest roof is, in fact, a line of eaves called 'mokoshi'.

In 1947, the pagoda and Nagano Castle were the first buildings in Nagano prefecture to be designated National Treasures.
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法起寺(世界遺産) Houki-ji Hokiji Temple

Jp En

Hokiji is a temple of the Shotoku sect and is located in Ikaruga Town, Ikoma County, Nara Prefecture. It is a world heritage site.

There are several old temples related to Prince Shotoku such as Horyuji, Horinji and Chuguji in Ikaruga. This place is a traditional Buddhist place.

The site of Hokiji was originally the Okamoto-no-miya palace, where Prince Shotoku lectured on the Lotus Sutra. In the 10th year of the Jomei period (638), Prince Shotoku's son, Yamashiro-no-oeno, changed Okamoto into a temple according to Shotoku's will.

The remains of a golden building and a tower have been found here. An additional fact is that the three-storeyed pagoda is the only remaining original building and is the oldest of its kind in Japan.
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吉田寺 Kichiden-ji Kichidenji Temple

Jp En

Kichidenji Temple is located in the north of the village of Koyoshida near Ikaruga Town in Nara Prefecture. The temple is commonly referred to as Pokkuri Temple.

The Tenji Emperor ordered a grave to be built at this site for his sister, Hashihito-no-himemiko, and in the first year of the Eien period (987), Genshin built a temple here.

The name 'Pokkuri' ('drop dead') derives from the story that Genshin prayed to keep off evil spirits as his mother lay dying, so she could die without pain.

You should not miss the statue of seated Amida in one of the main buildings. It is about 4.85m tall and is the biggest wooden statue in Nara as well as a National Important Cultural Asset. It is said that if you pray in front of this statue, you will live longer.

The rare Taho pagoda, also in Nara, was built in the fourth year of the Kansei period (1463), and has been designated as an Important Cultural Asset.
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備中国分寺 Bicchu-kokubun-ji Bicchu Kokubunji Temple

Jp En

Bicchu Kokubunji is a temple that has been designated as a National Historical Relic Site. It is situated in Soja district, Okayama Prefecture.

Also, Bicchu Kokubunji was built at the Emperor's behest in the Nara period. However, the original temple was destroyed by fire in the Nanboku-chō period. The present structure was rebuilt in the mid-Edo period. The Sangharama, or monastery, was built after the reconstruction. The five-storeyed pagoda is a famous site of Kibiji and Okayama Prefecture. The pagoda has been designated as an important cultural asset. It took over 20 years to build beginning in 1821 and demonstrates the wealth that the country of Bicchu had back then.
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慈恩寺 Jion-ji Jion-ji Temple

Jp En

Jion-ji Temple in located in Sagae, Yamagata prefecture. It is said that the monk Baramon established it in 746 on the orders of the Emperor Shōmu.

In the Edo period, it was given 2812 red seal-stones from the government and became one of the representative landmarks in the Tohoku area.

The Hondo (main temple) is built in the style of the Momoyama period and is designated a National Cultural Asset. There is a large collection of statues of bodhisattvas, which are also designated as important cultural assets.

In the cedar-forested mountain, there are various buildings including the Deva gate and a three-tiered pagoda. The classic statues of the Twelve Heavenly Generals have been exhibited overseas; their uplifting demeanors are memorable.

Every May 5th, a performance of Jion-ji classical music (bugaku) has been held annually for over 1200 years. There are 8 parts to the performance, which includes Enbu, Sanjyu, Taiheiraku and Ryouou.
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眉山 Bizan Mount Bizan

Jp En

Mount Bizan has an altitude of 290m and is located in Tokushima district, Tokushima prefecture. The name 'Bizan' derives from its eyebrow-like appearance.

It is a symbol for Tokushima district and it appears in many local school songs. The mountain is also famous for cherry-blossoms. The crest is known as the place where Man'yō songs were sung from by the Man'yō singer Fune no ou.

From here, there is a panoramic view of Tokushima. When the weather is fine, Awaji Island and Kii mountain range in Wakayama prefecture can also be seen. It is also famous for its night view.

Haruni Shrine and Yakushi Temple are situated at the foot of the mountain. At the summit is a nature interaction facility, a monument to the Meiji Emperor, a memorial pagoda ((Myanmar tower) to the war dead, and the Toyohiko Kagawa literary monument. The whole area is set aside as parkland and is a hidden landmark.
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