Sairinji Temple is a Shingon sect temple located in Furuichi, Habikino City, Osaka Pref. The principal image is the standing statue of Yakushi Nyorai. According to the temple record, it originates in Kogenji Temple established by the Kawachi no Fumi clan, the descendents of a Confucian scholar Wang In of Baekje.
The excavated tiles and other items indicate that the temple was established at some time during the Asuka period (the late 6th C. to the early 8th C.). The foundation stone of a pagoda placed in the garden of the temple is nearly 2 m tall and over 27 tons in weight. It is the largest foundation stone of a pagoda identified with the Asuka period. The formal seven buildings had been completed by 679 and it is confirmed that those buildings had existed until 743. Most of the buildings and the pagoda were destroyed by the battles in the Warring States period (1493-1573) and Haibutsu Kishaku (the anti-Buddhism movement) in the Meiji period (1868-1912).
As one of the Kawachi Asuka Shichifukujin (Seven Gods of Good Fortune) temples, Sairinji Temple worships the deity Ebisu, who wears the Kazaori Eboshi (a tall hat) and the Kariginu (hunting garment) with holding a fishing rod and a red sea bream. Sairinji is a temple with a long history since the ancient times.
Nokami Hachimangu Shrine is an old and distinguished shrine located in Kimino-cho, Kaiso-gun, Wakayama Pref. It is said that the shrine dates back to the period during the reign of Emperor Kinmei (around A.D. 550). It is one of the 3 largest Hachiman shrines in Japan. As a branch shrine of Iwashimizu Shrine in Kyoto, Nokami Shrine has been worshipped by people for a long time. The shrine is also known for a lot of nationally designated cultural properties including the Main Hall built in the Azuchi Momoyama period (1568-1598), the Main Hall of Takeuchi Shrine (one of the branch shrines), and a sword. Brilliant vermillion of the Main Hall reminds us of its ancient flourishing times. At the autumn festival held on Sunday in the middle of October every year, flamboyant Shishimai dance (lion dance) is dedicated to the god and a lot of local people come to enjoy the festival.
Umamioka Watamuki Shrine at the foot of Mt. Watamuki in Hino Town, Shiga Prefecture, is a historic shrine founded in 545. The enshrined deities are Amenohonohi no Mikoto, Amenohinadori no Mikoto and Takemikumaushi no Mikoto. It was originally founded at the top of Mt. Watamuki and was transferred to the present place in 796.
The spring festival of the shrine “Hino Festival” held on May 2 to 4 every year is the most gorgeous festival on the eastern side of Lake Biwa. The festival dates back to 1170, since when ancient rituals and customs have been passed down to the present time.
On the main festival day on May 3, a lot of Shinto rites are performed in traditional ways. The highlight is the parade with the 3 holy children and the guarding attendants in samurai costumes in the lead, who are followed by a sacred horse, shrine priests and the 3 mikoshi from the attached shrines and sumptuous 16 festival floats, which were donated by wealthy Omi merchants about 130 to 200 years ago. The festival is prefecturally designated as an intangible cultural property.
Hisaizu Shrine is located in Iwatsuki-ku, Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture. The enshrined deity is Okuninushi no Mikoto. It is said that the shrine was founded by the Haji clan from Izumo during the reign of Emperor Kinmei (539-571). Later in 1457, when the Ota clan built Iwatsuki Castle under the order of Uesugi Sadamasa, the shrine was designated as the guardian of Iwatsuki Castle.
The present main hall was built in 1789. The most distinctive is the Third Torii Gate, which is built of Japanese cypress plain wood. The wood, which had been used for Itagaki Minami Gomon (the south gate) of Naigu (inner shrine) in Ise Shrine, was dismantled at Shikinen Sengu (reconstruction of all the buildings of Ise Shrine done once in every 20 years) and reconstructed into the Third Torii Gate in 1993. The shrine forest is designated as “Furusato no Mori (Hometown Forest)” by the prefecture.
Okuni Shrine located in Mori-machi, Shuchi-gun, Shizuoka Pref. is a shrine with plentiful mythology and natural beauty. The enshrined deity is Omunachi (Okuninushi) no Mikoto. The original shrine was located in Mt. Motomiya, but it was transferred to the present place in 555, when a holy spirit appeared in the mountain. Honden (the main hall) and Haiden (oratory) are of Taisha-zukuri style. The grove of trees in the precinct is called “the Ancient Forest,” where old cedar trees of several hundred years old create superb atmosphere. The shrine is worshipped by the people all over ex-Enshu province (present-day western part of Shizuoka Pref.) and as many as 300,000 people come to offer prayers on the New Year’s Day. Visitors can enjoy natural beauty from season to season such as cherry blossoms, iris in the iris garden beside the entrance of the shrine, and autumn foliage. Junidan Bugaku (twelve dances), which is dedicated in the annual festival in April, and the dance in Taasobi Matsuri (festival for good harvest) in January are designated as the prefectural Important Intangible Cultural Properties.
Tsushima Shrine is located in Tsushima, Aichi Prefecture, and is the headquarters of the Tsushima Shrines in the Chubu region.
In 540, during the period of the Emperor Kinmei, the shrine was called Tsushima-Gozutenno shrine. In 810, the shrine was designated by the Emperor Saga as the best Japanese shrine and today it has about 3000 branch shrines.
During the Warring States period, Oda Nobunaga, who was born in Shobatajo, near Tsushima, worshipped at this shrine and cooperated with construction of the shrine buildings. The Toyotomi family succeeded Oda's faith.
The shrine's elegant main building is in Momoyama-period style and is designated as an Important Cultural Asset.
The buildings face south and there is a large red torii gate at the entrance. Along the approach to the shrine, you will see the south gate. Passing through the gate, you will see a partition wall, which is often seen in big shrines in Aichi.
Tsushima Shrine is also called Gozutenno-san and many people visit here to to worship.
Jinkakuji is a Shingon (Japanese Esoteric) Buddhist temple located on Mt Jinkakuji in Oita Prefecture. It is also called the Koyasan-shingonshu-nyoisan and the Shakunage (Rhododendron) Temple.
The original temple built by a monk from Silla Korea in 570 was destroyed in a battle in 1196. However, during the Jyuji-Kanmitsu period, the Otomo Family restored six residences for monks, and one of these residences located in the east became the main temple of Jinkaku.
Jinkakuji's main temple has a brilliantly curved eave made in a hogyotsukuri (pyramid-shape) style and is tiled in the hiwadabuki style using tiles and cypress shingles. The pair of wooden kongorikishi guardian statues located at the temple gate demonstrate the Unkei sculpture style and have been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan along with the main temple.
More than 500 rhododendron trees, all at least 100 years of age, grow in one corner of the temple grounds, and a rhododendron festival is held each year from the end of April to May.
Kaizuka City, Osaka Pref. is said to be the oldest place where the making combs started in Japan. As legend goes, during the reign of the emperor Kinmei (the late 6th Century) a foreigner, who had drifted ashore of the present Kaizuka City, had 8 kinds of comb making tools and taught the local people how to make combs. It is said that in the middle of the Edo period there were more than 500 comb making craftsmen in the area around Kaizuka City. As Izumi comb is made of tsuge (boxwood), it causes less static electricity and less damage to hair, compared with the one made of plastic. The state-of-the-art product is made of Satsuma-tsuge (boxwood that grows in Kagoshima Pref.). Every teeth of Izumi comb is made smooth by hand. The longer you use it, the more attachment you have for its texture and hand feeling. You will comb your hair very smoothly with this comb of excellent workmanship.