Thursday, May 10, 2007

A new place to visit

After visiting the Samurai house (thank you Mr. Nishi!), the tea shop, and a restaurant for lunch, we went to a temple that I have been meaning to visit for a long time. It is called Futagoji temple and is famous for granting child-bearing wishes (not that we are thinking of having any more children!).
It turned out to be a pretty magical place. Originaly founded in 718 it is set in magnificent gardens with great steps to walk up at the entrance. The priest we talked to attempted to describe some of the special aspects of the temple, but it is so difficult even for Japanese people to understand so for someone like me it is almost impossible.
As with a lot of the religious places around this area you can find a mixture of the two major religions in Japan, Buddhism and Shintoism, all in the same place. The two Deva kings who stand at the base of the stairs are the biggest Buddhist images on the Kunisaki peninsula, and the gate at the top is said to be unchanged for over 900 years. Pretty hard to fathom when you come from a country with a relatively short history like New Zealand!
A great place to wander around - with nice little surprises around each corner. Rudolf was just one of the little friends we found!

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