When you’ll get to Japan you might noticed that there is a lot of temples and shrines. But there is a highly recommended one called ‘Ikegami Honmonji’. This huge temple is located in Ikegami in the South West of Tokyo. Ikegami is actually a small and very quiet town where you can still observe old Japanese style houses and shops.
The Honmonji temple was built in 1276 by ‘Nitiren’ (Japanese Buddhist Monk). The temple is on top of a small mountain and if you want to get there you have three choices;
First, you can choose the easiest way to climb by using the elevator which is located inside a building called ‘Ikegami Kaikan’. Then, you can ride on a trail beside the small mountain. Finally, if you are motivated you can climb the 96 rock steps! These rock steps will lead you right in front of the entrance of Honmonji Temple. It could sound hard but actually it is worth to take the time to climb as you can get an amazing view on top. And also, if you climb until the top of the mountain, you will see a big gate called ‘Nioumon’. That gate has two ogres to welcome you.
When going through the gate there will be a big building that was burned down during the World War II and rebuilt later on. This building is highly valued as a modern Buddhist temple. If you have the chance to enter the building, you should look at the ceiling because it has an old and huge picture that might surprise you!
Nevertheless, Ikegami Honmonji has one building that has escaped from the fire of the World War II. This building is called ‘Gojyuunotou’ and it is famous in Japan for its wooden structure style. It is a pretty high tower.
Ikegami Honmonji is celebrating the anniversary of Nitiren each year from 11th October till the 13th. This massive festival gathers over 300,000 people from all around Japan! Go there and experience traditional food in ‘Yatai’ (traditional shop), and be amazed by the parade!