Buddhism

Make Your Wish Come True at This Kyoto Temple With…Graffiti?

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…

Experience the Mysterious Wonders of Lotus Cuisine at Kyozen Usami Restaurant

In many Asian cultures and Buddhism, lotus (蓮 or ‘hasu’ in Japanese) has long been admired for its divine and pure beauty blooming out of impure muddy waters. Almost all parts of a lotus plant, ranging from its grains, seeds, to its petals, have a variety of uses in our daily lives; one of which…

Visit the Eastern Golden Hall of Kohfukuji Temple and Admire Its Treasures

If you make a pilgrimage to Nara and find yourself in Nara Koen (the park) there are countless things to see in the extensive grounds. At Kohfukuji there are three golden halls, the Eastern one (Tohkondo) having been rebuilt six times due to destruction by fire. The original building (built in 726) was commissioned by…

Experience the Mystic Charm of Iwaya Caves on Enoshima

Enoshima is a small island at the mouth of the Katase River in Kanagawa Prefecture. Nestled in place are caves called “Iwaya” which have been eroded by tides over thousands of years. It has quite a long history with its first ever recorded historical document in 552 AD. It then became a tourist spot for…

Yakuyoke and Yakubarai: Remove Your Bad Luck for the Year!

Are you currently feeling like the year is not treating you well? Then you should check whether you are at the age when you will face bad luck. The Japanese believe in yakudoshi, in which men will suffer bad luck at the ages of 25, 42, and 61. On the other hand, the bad years…

Visit Hokke-do to View the Exquisite Ancient Statues in Nara Koen

The Todaiji Temple complex in Nara Koen encompasses the Great Buddha Hall, the Todaiji Museum, and many other buildings besides. However, rather than the biggest tourist attraction in the area (the great Buddha), it was Hokke-do (the statue hall) which stole my heart and was, in my opinion, the most interesting and unique thing I…

The Nara National Museum: a Plethora of Art and History Nestled in Nature

Nara Koen (Nara Park) is famous for several reasons, namely its shika deer and the large Buddha statue which is a prime attraction in the park. But aside from these, and no less worthy of a visit is the Nara National Museum. Viewing this vast collection of Buddhist art is a fitting way to learn…

Amazon Is Now Offering a Monk Delivery Service in Japan?

Japanese life is, no doubt, getting busier every single day that communal ties to Buddhist temples are gradually fading. The practice of finding a monk online for ritual purposes has long been done by different families. It provided ease and comfort to those who have a hard time looking for a monk. Recently, Amazon allowed…

The Challenging Life of Mt. Hiei’s Marathon Monks

Somewhere in the mountains of Kyoto live the marathon monks. These monks seek enlightenment by running 1,000 marathons in 1,000 days. Though it is very rare for a monk to embark such kind of challenge, those who succeed are regarded with respect as living Buddhas.   tumblr.com/ Who are the Marathon Monks?   theguardian.com/ The…

What Is the Meaning Behind Ryoan-ji Temple’s Rock Garden?

One interesting part of Japanese culture is the beautification and preservation of gardens. There are several art forms of gardens in Japan and one these types is a famous rock garden or zen garden in Ryoan-ji Temple of Kyoto. It is a dry landscape designed with large rock formations and smooth pebbles. The Composition of…