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聖宝寺 Shouhou-ji Shouhouji Temple

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Shouhouji is a Rinzaishu (Rinzai school; one of the three Japanese Zen sects) temple located in Fujiwara-cho, Inabe-shi, Mie Prefecture. The enshrined deity at the temple is the Senjyu-kannon (Kannon with a thousand hands).

The temple was opened originally as a temple of the Tendaishu (Tendai school) by a monk named Saicho in 807. Saicho was deeply impressed by the scenery of Mt Fujiwara, and proposed the idea of building a temple to the then emperor Emperor Heijyo.

The temple was originally called Ichidouji. However, in 1508 the temple was razed during Oda Nobunaga's invasion of North Ise. The temple as we see it today was restored by the Rinzaishu in 1659.

The garden at Shouhouji is representative of the Fujiwara garden-making style of the Heian period. It is both magnificent and charming, and within the inner part of the temple is the Narutani waterfall, which is cooling for visitors on hot summer days.

Momiji-matsuri, an annual festival celebrating autumn's turning leaves, has become a grand feature of the temple. Visitors are drawn to the bewitching sight of the leaves lit up at night.
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