Buddhism

3 Important Things to Do When Attending a Japanese Funeral

Funerals or soushiki (葬式) in Japan are usually centered on Buddhist customs. Right after the passing of a loved one, the family holds a funeral service in a temple, funeral hall, or in the deceased’s home for two consecutive days. The first day is the wake called “otsuya (お通夜),” wherein family, relatives, friends, and colleagues…

Go on a Thrilling Hike and Spot this Fantastic Cave Temple in Tottori Prefecture!

Out of all the important designated sites in Japan, Sanbutsu-ji Temple and Nageire-do Hall in Tottori can be termed the two of the most dangerous because of their locations on Mt. Mitoku. Said to have been built in the 8th century A.D., the temple, together with its cliff-hanging halls, is one of the oldest religious…

Seeking Self-Discovery? Try Out Yamabushi-do Training in the Japanese Mountains!

Yamabushi are Japanese mountain people who believe in connecting with nature in order to gain inner power. These people usually make pilgrims to temples and shrines, pray and study hard, perform rituals and help villagers to understand their religion. As of this year, Megurun Inc. and Daishobo, a pilgrim lodge, are launching a mountain training…

5 Things to Do at Japan’s Oldest Summer Festival Held in Osaka!

Summer is here! While it’s normally uncomfortable to deal with the intense heat, especially in Asian countries such as Japan, there are several ways to enjoy the season without having to lock yourself inside the comforts of your air-conditioned hotel. One of the most eagerly awaited major summer festivals is the Aizen Matsuri (愛染まつり) in…

Why Are Buddhist Monks in Japan Allowed to Get Married?

Not only are Buddhist monks in Japan allowed to get married and have children, they are also allowed to eat meat and consume alcohol. However, these only apply to some of them. Monks who have vowed to be celibate are not allowed to do the aforementioned things, whereas monks who have not vowed to be…

The Mythical Couple Who Gave Birth to Japan’s 800+ Shinto Deities

Approximately 90% of the Japanese population are followers of Shintoism (神道), Buddhism (仏教) or both. This can be attributed to the high regards paid by the Japanese towards their ethnic origins as well as the value they put on ancient traditions. Shintoism, in particular, has been popular both in traditional and pop culture thanks to…

Is It a Sci-Fi Starship? No, It’s One of Tokyo’s Most Unique Temples!

There are many architecturally brilliant buildings all over Japan, ranging from old to modern structures. One of such is the Reiyukai Shakaden (霊友会釈迦殿) temple located in central Tokyo (東京) in proximity to the Tokyo Tower (東京タワー). It is a modern temple built in the shape of a sci-fi starship with a striking black exterior. It…

Discover the Wonders of Nagano on the Road to Zenkoji Temple

The road to Zenkoji (善光寺), one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Japan, is an easy one. Situated in the beautiful Japanese Alps, a convenient, regular, 80-minute bullet train links Tokyo with Nagano City (長野市), the capital of the Nagano Prefecture (長野県) and the gateway to this seventh-century icon. Nagano Unlike Zenkoji, Nagano City…
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