Japan is world-renowned for so many cultural, gastronomic and natural wonders. None are as revered as their temples. There are temples in every city, if not every block! I have even seen one near a 100 yen store and in the middle of a playground! I know of no city that doesn’t have at least one. Especially in the cultural mecca of Kyoto where the most famous shrines reside.
Now most people can easily remember the beauty of the gold and silver pavilion (the Kinkakuji and the Ginkakuji temples respectively) when asked about where to go in Kyoto. However, has anyone ever heard of Tandenan temple? This temple also has a more appropriate name – graffiti temple of Tandenan (or Rakugaki-dera temple).
You heard that right – it really is a temple where you can write on its walls! Hard to believe as usually going to a temple is quite a spiritual experience where everything is pristine and clean. Everyone is aware of keeping certain body parts covered, taking off shoes, not taking pictures in front of deities and so forth, so it is quite shocking to see that you can actually write on the temple wall itself!
The temple itself is Buddhist in origin and originated during the Edo period. It is dedicated to Daikoku. It is said that during the renovation the priest allowed locals to write their wishes on the walls as thanks for the help in renovating the temple. This feature, located mainly in the chamber dedicated to Daikoku, has since become quite the tourist attraction with many visitors coming to write their deepest wishes that they want fulfilled on its walls.
For one to be able to write on the walls there are a few ground rules:
Write your most important wish.
You have the opportunity to write your wish, name and address on paper instead if you so desire.
Do not use your personal pen. Use ONLY the pens provided by the temple to write on the walls.
Make sure to write in small print to ensure that everyone can participate.
Do not write beyond the limits of the walls.
Please contribute to the donation box for writing on the wall.
Please take a pamphlet about the temple with you.
So if you are ever in the Yawata-shi area in Kyoto, make sure to check out this one of a kind temple. Hopefully, your best wishes will be fulfilled! Good luck!