Today we were scheduled to leave town, destination Kyoto, but first we had to visit some temples and collect stamps (of course). I think it was somewhere around this time that Tim likened the practice of collecting these stamps as the original Pokemon, collect them all!
Niomon gate leading to the Zenkoji Temple
Zenkoji Temple- One of the most important in Japan. It was established in the 7th century and houses the first Buddhist statue brought to Japan (though, of course, they keep it hidden).
I don’t know what this little figure was, but it was associated with a group of Buddhist nuns as far as I could tell, and I got a stamp in my book of the statue.
The temple’s war memorial pagoda
The monk and the “raccoon dog.” Legend has it that there used to be raccoon dogs which lived in the surrounding area. One in particular felt so guilty about eating other animals that he transformed himself into a man and joined a group of pilgrims headed for the Zenkoji Temple. The raccoon dog had hoped to dedicate a stone lantern at the temple in order to ensure his next life would be more peaceful. Upon arriving at the pilgrims’ lodge near the temple, the raccoon man-dog decided to relax and take a bath in his natural form. Unfortunately an actual human caught the raccoon dog in the bath. Naturally, the animal fled. However, somehow a priest heard about the raccoon dog’s wish to dedicate a lantern, and so the monk carried out this animal’s wish.
Tool grave. Under this rock lie the tools used in the construction of the temple. They were considered so sacred, they were buried and “workers have prayed for peaceful repose of the tools’ spirits.”