A Visit to Nakamise Shopping Street (Part 1)

A Visit to Nakamise Shopping Street (Part 1)

Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple, Senso-ji, is also one of my favorites. The massive Kaminarimon, or Thunder Gate, is one of Asakusa’s best-known landmarks: and visitors often take photos with the gate’s massive chochin, which weighs almost 1,500 pounds. But a visit to Senso-ji is not complete without a stroll down Nakamise Shopping Street – the vibrant line of shops and stalls that lines the approach to the temple. Traditionally, vendors’ stalls or shops line the approach to Japanese shrines and temples. The goods on display can vary, but they usually include a variety of tasty local specialties, like these small cakes

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A Visit to Kyoto’s Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji

Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji (sometimes known merely as “Eikan-do”) is Japan’s head temple for the Jōdo-shū, or “Pure Land” Buddhist sect. With its focus on faith, and specifically on Amida Buddha, Pure Land Buddhism differs from the popular Zen schools often followed by members of the samurai class (especially during Japan’s medieval age); however, many samurai families followed Pure Land teachings. Originally founded in 863 as “Zenrin-ji” (in Japanese, “ji” means “temple”), the temple continued to expand through the centuries, adding new buildings and reconstructing older ones as the need arose. The temple is famous, in part, for its statue of Amida Buddha, which looks over its shoulder rather

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