Myohonji, a beautiful Buddhist temple in Kamakura

Kamakura, a seaside town just 1 hour from southwest Tokyo. This city is famous for its rich history and culture that has survived for centuries.

Kamakura has been home to samurai and Buddhist monks for many years. There you can find Myohonji Temple which is the oldest Buddhist temple in Kamakura. You can find a short distance by walking from JR Kamakura station.

Myohonji Temple was built by Hiki Daigaku Saburo Yoshimoto of the Hiki Clan in the 1200s. It’s amazing to think this piece of old history is just a stone’s throw from bustling Tokyo.

To get to Myohonji Temple from Tokyo, the easiest route is to take the Shonan-Shinjuku line from Shinjuku Station and get off to JR Kamakura. Exit the east side of the station and keep heading east. After passing through the gates of Myohonji Temple, there is a short and rather steep incline to reach the top.

Along the way you will see some beautiful trees and flowers, some of which are so tall that they often block the sun. Of course you will be fascinated by Myohonji Temple because of the combination of ancient architecture and peaceful nature inside.

If you continue to explore Myohonji Temple you will come across several well-crafted statues and structures. Of course all these structures are included with the main temple itself. All of this is surrounded by the beautiful natural surroundings of Kamakura.

Regardless of the time of year, with lots of natural plants growing around the shrine grounds. Myohonji Temple is worth a visit if you are traveling to Kamakura. When it’s a short walk from the station, why not? You can find out more about Myohonji Temple and its vast Buddhist history.

Chosho-ji, the long win temple in Kamakura

Kamakura is a legendary place known for its many temples, cafes, restaurants and tourist attractions that attract tourists from all over the world. However, they were all wrong if they said the City Center was the most important tourist spot.

In fact on the outskirts of Kamakura you can find Chosho-ji Temple in the middle of a traditional residential neighborhood. This shrine exudes an obscure and secret gem presence while still within walking distance of kamakura station.

Chosho-ji Temple has two entrances namely the main entrance and one side entrance. The main entrance is marked with a large red tori, while the side doors are low and small doors.

The side doors have a low size where one has to be careful not to bang their heads. An impressive prayer ceremony can be found if you are lucky, but perhaps not every visitor will be lucky enough to enjoy this experience.

The front courtyard of Chosho-ji’s main hall was filled with five magnificent statues, each carrying weapons and warlike expressions on their faces. There will be a lot of incense smells that you encounter and some staple foods, just like praying a small grave.

This area has a hand washing area using traditional rituals and a large number of impressively installed bushes. If one enters Chosho-ji temple through the main entrance, there are no stairs or steps until one reaches the main hall.

This could mean that Chosoji Temple is easy to access, even for some people with reduced mobility. This is in contrast to many other temples and shrines, which are built in terraces which make them difficult to traverse for some. However, some floors of the complex are covered with gravel, potentially deterring visitors using wheelchairs.

Holy Kencho-ji! – Kamakura’s number one temple

Japanese people really value cultural heritage, of course every historical place is highly recommended. Kencho-ji Temple is 1.6 KM by foot from kamakura station. Actually there are lots of transportation that you can use.

Although there are many, it is recommended that you walk to Komachidori ST where you can find elegant market stalls and restaurant offerings. Take the east exit from Kamakura Station and look to your left, the street komachidori is near the McDonald’s addition.

Once you’re done with Komachidori Street, continue along the main road when you turn left and you see Kencho-ji Temple. This is a historical temple and you shouldn’t miss it.

Ookawachiyama, the Imari-yaki Pottery Village

Saga Prefecture in Kyushu is well known for their distinct style of pottery. One of the most famous is Imari-yaki from the Imari and Arita regions.

Yaki can mean “fired” or in the case of pottery it can be referred to as “Equipment”. There are several different names that you can come across in the making of this regional pottery style.

Some call it Imari-Arita Yaki while others just call it Imari-yaki. Mount Izumiyama in Arita is rich in porcelain stone, making the Arita area ideal for pottery work.

Imari pottery is very different and unique compared to the pottery made in Japan. The designs often have Chinese and Korean influences. Many of the potters who were approved by Hideyoshi Toyotomi and other rulers to make pottery were brought from Korea nearly 400 years ago.

Their work and their predecessors made pottery popular for export to the west. There are some who have ended up in manor houses in Germany and other European countries. Imira-yaki is also quite expensive, due to its historical significance and status as pottery made for both domestic and foreign royalty.

There are some tourists who may not be able to buy or bring back Imari-Yaki. But you don’t need to be disappointed because just visiting the birthplace of pottery is quite beautiful.

Start your visit Arita-yaki

The free museum at Mirai Yaki is at the foot of the village where the bus stop and second place of sure are conveniently located. This is a great place to start your visit.

Of course you should take a map of the area and get any help needed. Then after that don’t forget to take a glimpse of some of the pottery that has been on display there. If you have time, you can try enrolling in a pottery making class.

Many pottery made by famous makers are exhibited there and some are historical artifacts. The museum is not big at all, maybe only the size of two rooms full of displays.

See the kiln up close!

After you have a look at the museum, then the next step is to follow the road in any direction you want by looking at the map. As you walk closer to the slopes of the mountain, you will see many traditional stoves that are still in use today.

However, this is not the only type of Kiln around. Kamamoto, a craft factory in the city also serves as a pottery shop and an open area for visitors to see how pottery is made. Not all designs in the imari-yaki style come in pottery ware.

There are small details in every step

Japan is a country that pays great attention to even the smallest details. This village is another place where you will find the most unexpected details for pottery. You can even find pottery on the street to the toilet sink.

You never know where you’ll find imari-yaki, so why not make a little game out of it? This can be a fun way to find your way through a walkable village.

The humid weather on the day you visit the place is the perfect way to find peace and serenity in the forest. After climbing a few steps, you can find the top of the village and a garden with the same structure straight out of a postmodern painting.The humid weather on the day you visit the place is the perfect way to find peace and serenity in the forest. After climbing a few steps, you can find the top of the village and a garden with the same structure straight out of a postmodern painting.

Ookawachiyama pottery garden: an unforgettable mix

After following the trail in the mountains, you will find several benches where you can rest. That way you can see the village itself calmly and of course breathe fresh air.

Even so, there would be some tree branches blocking and one might think that it would be great to go in the summer. You can see the full foliage and look out over the beautiful greenery.

The famous famous imari-yaki bridge

The path there will take you to the center of the village again. Some of the trails will have a view of the kiln and after a while you will come to the main parking lot again.

The path there will take you to the center of the village again. Some of the trails will have a view of the kiln and after a while you will come to the main parking lot again.

The cemetery doesn’t seem to be visited very often from the walkway view. Unlike most traditional Japanese tombs, this dining site is dedicated to Korean potters resting together in the shape of a pyramid. However, in the background you see an ordinary Japanese tomb. It makes one wonder about the background of the differences.

Reclining Buddha at Kotoji Temple, Shimabara

Buddhism has been around for thousands of years and its principles have spread far from India, southeast Asia and finally to Japan. Along the way and over the years, the cross-cultural contemporaries changed the shape of scriptures and statues.

Just like the Sutras, sculptures are adopted in different virtues among the scattered domains of dharma. The variation between Buddha statues in several Buddhist countries is a prime example of this. The most commonly observed buddha poses are the Meditation or Sitting Pose.

But, coincidentally, replicas of famous figures around the world are recorded in three poses, namely Sitting, standing and lying down. Although lying down is rare in Japan, it can still be found.

Kotoji Temple’s Reclining Buddha

Reclining Buddha at Kotoji Temple, Shimabara

Unbeknownst to many, the city of shimabara in Nagasaki has its own reclining Buddha. The pose depicts the Buddha at the point of Paranirvana, when he experiences death in the last world.

As he lay at Kotoji Temple, this buddha looked languidly from the bizan mountain and out into an obscure collection of buildings. Obviously physical presence was not the Buddha’s primary concern.

The Reclining Pose is not only found in one place but also at the Nanzoin Temple in Sasaguri. Perhaps Japan’s largest depiction of this rarest pose is here with a bronze weight of 250 tons, 41 meters long and 15 meters high.

Kotoji’s Buddha Compare to Others

IN Thailand you will find a 4 meter long reclining Buddha resting in euphoria at the temple of Wat Pho, Bangkok. The Buddha at wat pho is an alloy of copper and gold and in its place you find a glowing red light.

However, despite the network connection with Wat Pho it turns out that the reclining Buddha in the temple of nanzion will not be impressive. The Reclining Buddha at Nanzoin is 41 meters long which makes it the largest bronze statue in the world

Meanwhile, the Buddha at Kotoji Temple is among the quiet hedges. The waves between the sea of ​​gray grave markers, all of which appear without a view and without a sound under the green volcanic mountain of Shimabara.

Being on top of the graveyard mountain probably makes up for the significant qualities of the shimabara reclining buddha. Why? For when the blind lays down his head before dying, he will leave an enlightened worldly presence.

Built in 1957, the statue shrine has a history that stretches back to the feet of its Fukuoka companion. In fact, this shrine commemorates the general who once suppressed the Shimabara Christian rebellion.

The rebellion involved the murder of 39,000 Christians. This silent Buddha seems to shrink from the other temples in the irony of suffering idolized. This made him even more Buddha, thousands of slain people made up for his absence.

History, and the White Mirin in Nagareyama

Nagareyama is the head of a group of towns in Chiba prefecture that includes stains, kashiwa and Matsudo. It used to be a single city and a major trading center in Edogawa.

Nagareyama City is a major producer of white mirin, which has been a staple in Japanese cuisine since ancient times. They sent it via a ship that also served as Mirin’s Warehouse.

The hallmark of this city is the peaceful and walkable old town. This walk will make a strong sense of local community and pride in its history. It’s worth taking a day trip from Tokyo here to visit the various cultures and neighboring cities.

History the White Mirin in Nagareyama

Nagareyama, a charming town in Chiba that is a pleasure to walk through for a few hours. It would be very nice if you could linger in the city.

On a tour, you can go on foot with some very informative volunteer guides. If the city closest to the stain is known as the Soy Sauce City, then in Nagerayama it is famous for the birthplace of the white mirin,

Mirin is a kind of sweet Japanese sake and is commonly used as a spice in cooking. It used to be popular with Nagareyama women as a sweet alcoholic drink. In fact, Nagareyama is where white mirin was first brewed in 1814.

There are many buildings with signs showing past sights at proper intersections along the route. There are graves along the route, statues of gods and goddesses and shrines such as the Akagi Shrine.

Akagi Shrine, according to legend, was named after a nearby mountain that could move from Gunma prefecture. There is also a large hand-spun rope hanging from the entrance. The rope is arguably one of the largest hand spun ropes in Japan which is remade every year by the locals.

Dietary Excellence at a Local Bistro

A walk through Nagerayama will surely leave you hungry and ready for lunch. There are a number of great food options in the city, but Bistro EIZEN could be a place to recommend.

Bistro Eizen stands out not only from its interior and decoration. But also because the menu is designed and prepared by the officially licensed Nutritionist at Midori Kouno. The menu is all balanced, unprocessed whole foods that are handcrafted, made with love and beautifully presented.

The food at EIZEN is made with a little salt composition and is suitable for diet menus. The food is mostly Japanese blend and generally like Hamburg(Breadless Burger. In some kind of sauce, with side dishes.

After lunch you will be reluctant to leave Nagereyama. Of course you want to feel more of the historical significance that has settled in the city for a long time. Nagareyama and its neighboring cities are great options for day trips (or two or three days) from Tokyo.

How to Get to Nagareyama by Train

There are several ways you can go to Nagareyama. If you like driving then Nagareyama can’t be easy for you to go by driving. There are better ways and one of them is the Railroad. Here are some routes that lead directly to Nagareyama:

  • Akihabara Station (Tsukuba Express) – Nagareyama Ootakanomori Station – Keisei Bus/Tobu Bus: 40-50 minutes
  • Akihabara Station (Tsukuba Express) – Nagareyama-Centralpark Station – Nagareyama Honcho (by foot): 40-50 minutes
  • Ueno Station (Hibiya Line) – Kita-senju Station (Chiyoda Line/Joban Line)- Mabashi Station (Ryutetsu Nagareyama Line): 50 minutes.

The History of Ako

Ako, a small Japanese town is perfect for a short stay for tourists. For those who are looking for a remote destination away from the crowds, maybe Ako can be a recommendation.

I’m located far from tourist areas like Kyoto or Horshima. Even so, Ako is not very well known by foreign tourists. But for lovers of Japanese history and culture, you must visit Ako.

Ako is not only a great place to admire traditional architecture but also a place to learn about the old methods of making salt. You’ll also find home to one of the most famous samurai groups from ancient times in Japanese history, the 47 Ronin.

History of the 47 Ronin of Ako

47 Ronin or Masterless Samurai is already known by most Japanese people by the name Chushingura. Ronin is based on the true events of the Ako incident that occurred in the 18th century.

This incident inspired many famous dramas, novels and even films to this day. It was even adapted by Hollywood in the 2013 film “47 Ronin,” which starred Keanu Reeves alongside internationally renowned Japanese actors, such as Sanada Hiroyuki and Kikuchi Rinko.

In 1675, Asano Naganori became the ruler of Ako when he was just 9 years old just after his father died. As usual he would certainly be appointed to a small temporary office before finally being made the original leader.

In 1701, he began to be appointed to serve as acting under Kira Yoshinaka to host envoys from the Edo era empire. Yoshinaka is in charge of teaching proper court manners for this occasion, but he views himself as lowly and quite rude.

The tension between the two men grew bigger by the day. When Yoshinaka harshly insulted Naganori during their assignment to edo castle, he couldn’t take it anymore and contacted his sword against Yoshinaka.

However he was only able to injure Yoshinaka’s back and forehead before the guards separated them. Drawing one’s sword in the Shogun’s castle and attacking a superior was a grave offense.

As punishment, Naganori had to commit seppuku or ritual suicide, and his palace and land were confiscated. This is what makes all his followers become Ronin no masters.

The 47 Ronin of Naganori are very loyal and under the leadership of Oishi Kuranosuke they have sworn revenge. Even so they must know that by revenge killing Kira Yoshinaka will make them violate the law.

But Yoshinaka’s residence at that time was well guarded and he even hoped that Oshi’s men would attack him. So at that very moment 47 Ronin became Monks and merchants to pretend to live life like ordinary people to make them believed not to be a threat to Yoshinaka.

It is said that Oishi even moved to Kyoto, where he frequented the city’s red-light districts and got drunk most nights. He sacrificed his entire reputation and honor just to clear himself of the slightest suspicion. This is so that he is not suspected of taking revenge on his master.

After nearly two years, Yoshinaka finally caught his guard. On the night of December 14, 1702, Oishi and his men attacked Yoshinaka’s house in Edo. They found Yoshinaka, killed him, and laid his head in front of their master’s grave to report the success of their revenge.

The shogunate officials were confused because the hearts of the people belonged to the 47 Ronin and they had fulfilled the samurai’s ideals with each other to their lord to death. But they broke the law which meant they also had to be punished.

The result was that they were all ordered to commit Seppuku, because Japan at that time was more honorable to commit suicide than to Execution. On February 4, 1703, all the Ronin committed Seppuku except for 1 person who fled when they started the attack.

Traces of the 47 Ronin in Ako

The story of the 47 Ronin has actually been known for a very long time. So I really had the opportunity to visit several places related to them.

Even though the inland sea of ​​seto is known as a sunny day all year round, somehow I can visit on a rainy day. But this doesn’t make us lose any joy.

Ako Castle is a castle built by order of Asano Naganoi, the grandfather of Naganori. It took 13 years to complete this Construction. Although the 17th century was a time of relative peace under the strict Tokugawa government.

The castle was designed with defense in mind by two knowledgeable military Strategists. The entrance to the castle is not straight. But you will find an image of the walls arranged concentrically and through the gates facing in different directions.

The purpose of the path is to make it difficult for attackers to enter. This also gives defenders more time to attack them with guns and arrows through gaps in the wall.

The castle’s location is near the Chikusagawa River in the east and the Seto Inland Sea in the south, making it an easy castle to defend. The castle was demolished after samurai rule ended in the 19th century, but has been largely restored.

The rest were designated as national historic sites in 1971. Most have been converted into parks for scenic views.