Rinnoji Temple in Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, is a temple of the Soto sect of Buddhism It was founded in Somekawa in present Fukushima Prefecture in 1441 by Date Mochimune, the 11th head of the Date clan, to respond to the plea by the nun Rantei Meigyoku, the wife of the late 9th head.
Rinnoji Temple is famous for its beautiful Japanese garden named “Rinnoji Zen Garden.” It is a pond stroll garden, which is said to be one of the most wonderful gardens in the Tohoku district. The garden was designed by the priest Fukusada Mugai (1881-1943), who restored the temple after it had declined in the Meiji period.
The pond with the backdrop of red pine and cedar trees reflect the images of weeping cherry blossoms and the three-story pagoda in the middle of April. White and violet flowers of Japanese irises in late June are especially impressive. Walking across bridges over the pond to view the scenery that changes by season, you will have a really relaxing time.
Mt. Rokushosan is a 611-meter mountain located near Matsudaira Town, the birthplace of the Tokugawa clan, in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture. It is counted as one of the three holy mountains in the Mikawa region. The mountain is covered with dense primary forest of conifer including huge cedar trees at the higher altitude and evergreen broad-leaved trees and deciduous trees at the lower altitude. Having an atmosphere of “Satoyama (nearby woodland),” the mountain is loved by local hikers as the place to contact with nature.
Mt. Rokushosan used to be a training ground for mountain practitioners of a temple founded in Mt. Ochizan by the priest Taicho Daishi. At the times when the temple was prosperous, the mountain trail with stone statues of Buddha was set out in this mountain.
At the foot of Mt. Rokushosan is Toyota City Outdoor Activity Center, which is equipped with a camping site, a picnic field and hiking courses for citizens.
This pathway is the approach to Dewasanzan Shrine, which is located in Haguro-cho, Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture.
Up to 500 old Japanese cedar trees line the pathway.
The pathway has three inclined sub-pathways. The 'Genganotaki (Waterfall of Genga)' is found prior to the 'ichinosaka (first slope)' and after climbing a short while, the Haguro Pagoda, a national treasure thought to be reconstructed in 1375, can be found along one of the sidepaths. Next to this is the giant 'okinasugi (grandfather cedar)', which is said to be more than 1,000 years old. At the top of 'ninosaka (second slope)' is a teahouse where one may rest.
Dewasanzan Shrine is at the top of the pathway. The 28-meter-high main building is of Gongen architecture, and its thatched roof with a width of 2.1 meters is said to be the best in the Tohoku area.
The shrine also features a bronze statue of Basho, commemorating the famous reference to the shrine in the 'Oku-no-hosomichi'.
Susa Shrine is located in Izumo City, Shimane Prefecture and is dedicated to Susanoo-no-mikoto’s and other deities.
It has some Important National Cultural Assets, including the famous Sword with Hyogo chains, and the Lion mask.
The name of this district is Susa, Sada-town after the god’s name. Susanoo, was the brother of Amaterasu, and was banished from heaven because of his rivalry with his sister. He came to Izumo, where he became the local god.
There is a salt well in the shrine and legend has it that the god is supposed to have pumped salt water from the well to cleanse the district. The well water comes from the beach in Inasa and the water tastes a bit salty. This story is one of the 7 secrets of Suna.
There is a 1,200-year-old cedar tree, with a girth of 7m and a height of 24m. The tree has a powerful sense of history and dignity.
The shrine has continued for as many as 78 generations.