You see one, you’ve seen ’em all

The US has little country churches, Europe has cathedrals, and Japan has temples . . . everywhere.


There are small temples . . .

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And large.

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Plain temples . . .

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And ornate.

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Every village has a temple . . . (This one is actually in Tai O, New Territories, Hong Kong)

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And cities devote prime real estate to several. (This Is part of the Nan Lian Shrine in Kowloon, Hong Kong)

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Some temples have gates to mark the way . . . (Lantau province, Hong Kong)

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And sometimes they get carried away with those gates . . .not only do these gates lead to the temple, but they line a 4 km trail through the woods.

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Others use lanterns . . .

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Some use both.

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Here are a few interesting facts I learned about temples.

Most of my information comes from plaques and brochures available on site.

KIYOMIZU TEMPLE

The temple, east of Kyoto, was founded in 798. This building was constructed in 1633, without the use of a single nail.

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These criss-cross supports are the foundation that hold the temple against the mountainside.

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TODAIJI TEMPLE

Located in Nara, the temple itself was under renovation and covered, so we couldn’t get pictures of it. Until 1998, the Todaiji was the largest wooden structure in the world.

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This is Nandaimon Gate, leading to the temple.

WORSHIPING AT TEMPLES

Before offering prayers, worshipers must call the spirits. Some clap their hands. Others ring the large gold chimes hanging at the temple doors.

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And if you really need to get the spirits’ attention, these giant bells are rung.

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Incense is also used to purify the surroundings and call the gods. The people in this picture are waving the smoke towards themselves for purification.

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ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE

First built in 593 on the island of Miyajima, Itsukushima burned, as many temples did, and was rebuilt in 1168. Along with the temple is this 5-tiered pagoda. The 5 tiers represent earth, water, fire, wind, and sky or heaven.

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Buddhists don’t have a designated time of the week for worship. There is no Sunday morning service, or daily mass. They know what is expected and they do it. There are 360 million Buddhists in the world, making it the fourth largest religion.

2 Comment

  1. Craig Weible says: Reply

    How beautiful! Excellent pics Marsha. Any particular reason you and Bill chose Japan?

    1. Bill’s family lived in Japan for a few years, and he went to college there for a year. He’s always wanted to go back. Now I know why.

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