NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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興福寺 大湯屋 Koufuku-ji Ooyuya Kofuku-ji Temple, Ooyu-ya Bathhouse

Jp En

The Kofuku-ji Temple, located in Nobori Ooji-cho, Nara City, Nara Prefecture, is a head temple of  the Hosso-shu Buddhism sect and it was a private temple of the Fujiwara Clan. The principal image of the Buddha is Shakanyorai. The temple is  9th in sequence of the 33-temple  Kannon pilgrimage and 4th of the 49-temple Yakushi Pilgrimage in Western Japan.
Koufuku-ji Temple was originally built in 669 by the wife of Fujiwara Kamatari under the name of Yamanashi-dera in Yamashina-ku, Kyoto City. It was transferred by Fujiwarano Fuhito to its present location and renamed  Koufuku-ji.
Ooyu-ya is a medieval style bathhouse standing in the east of the Gojyuuno-to, or Five-story Pagoda. It is not known in which year the bathhouse was built, however, the current building was reportedly restored in 1426. It is now designated as a national important cultural property.  
The bathhouse is 7 meters wide north to south  and 7 meters wide east to west with a Hongawara tile roof. The west side of the bathhouse has the Irimoya roof style and the east side has the Kirimoya roof style.  Inside the bathhouse are two gigantic iron pots  that are  used to make steam for a steam bath.
After the Middle Ages, the bathhouse was also used as a meeting place for public uprisings.
  The bathhouse is tremendously valuable as an example of bathhouse architecture from the Middle Ages.
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功雲寺 Kouun-ji Kounji Temple

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Kounji Temple located in Tsukui-cho, Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, is a temple of the Soto sect. In 1408, a small hermitage named “Koun-an” was founded in a village of Oi (present-day Tsukui-cho Oi) behind Tsukui Castle (present-day Tsukuiko-Shiroyama Prefectural Park). Later in the Warring States period (1493-1573), Naito Kagesada, the castellan of Tsukui Castle, relocated it to the present place and built the temple. In the Edo period (1603-1868), Kounji Temple was a sub-branch temple of Soneiji Temple, which was appointed as the registrar (Kanto Sorokushi) and the head of the three head administrative temples (Kan-Sansatsu) of the Soto sect in the Kanto region. The temple was so flourished as to be feoffed with the land of 50 koku of rice and the Main Hall, Kaizando Hall, Hakusando Hall and the bell tower stood in the large precinct.

In back of the Main Hall are Muhoto pagodas (priests’ tombs) with Hokyointo (three-tiered stupa pagoda) in the center, which is supposed to be the tomb of Kagesada and his wife. The pagodas are surrounded with the toms of the family of Moriya Sadaiyu, the local governor, Baba Sado, the castle substitute, and Shimazaki Norinao, a former retainer and Sodai-Nanushi (the officer delegating nearby villages) of Tsukui area. Kagesada’s tomb is designated as a Cultural Property of the town.
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信光明寺 Shinkoumyou-ji Shinkomyoji Temple

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Shinkomyoji Temple in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, is a temple of the Jodo sect. It is a historic temple famous as the family temple of the Matsudaira clan. The principal object of worship is Shaka Nyorai. The temple was founded in 1451 by the 3rd head of the Matsudaira clan, Matsudaira Nobumitsu, who took refuge in the Buddha under the guidance of the priest Shakuyo Zongei of the Chinzei school of the Jodo sect. The Shogunate gave a great degree of protection to the temple during the Edo period (1603-1868) as the family temple of the ancestors of the Shogun, and it bore the repair expense when the temple buildings were destroyed by fire.

The temple possesses a lot of cultural properties including the Kannon Hall, the statue of Yamagoe Amida Nyorai (Descent of Amida over the Mountains) of the Muromachi period (1336-1573), and the statue of Unchu Amida Nyorai (Amida on the Cloud) of the Nanbokucho period (1336-1392). The Kannon Hall was constructed in 1478 during the Muromachi period. The characteristics of the Zen-styled architecture in the mid-Muromachi period can be seen in the large camber on the outer side of the roof and the oni-gawara (decorative ridge-end tiles) atop the roof of the Somon Gate. The hall is nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property.
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徳島 霊山寺 Tokushima Ryouzenji Tokushima Ryozenji Temple

Jp En

Ryozenji is a temple belonging to the Koya school of the Shingon sect. The temple is dedicated to Gotama Siddhattha. It is the first temple on the Shikoku pilgrimage.

The Emperor Shōmu initiated construction of this temple after its inauguration by Gyōki Bosattsu in the Tenpyo period. In 815, Kōbō Daishi stayed here for 21 days and practiced his ascetic training. Later he invoked the creation of the 88-temple Shikoku pilgrimage. It is believed that during his training, he carved the Gotama Siddhattha figure, marking it as the first point on the pilgrimage. He founded schools that could teach the Taizoukai Mandala of the Dainichi Nyorai buddha in the Shikoku area. Each of the four regions of Shikoku was to establish schools of religion, training, Buddhahood and Nirvana.

He founded a total of 88 schools. Ryozenji was destroyed by fire at one point, but rebuilt and remains today a magnificent example of architecture.

Nowadays it is known as the starting point of the Shikoku pilgrimage. Throughout the year, it is crowded with pilgrims wearing the sedge hat and white costume of the henro.
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