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  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Fudo image
    Hasedera - Fudo image

    An image of the fierce-looking protective deity Fudo-myo-o enshrined within the temple in cocrejpn0030.

  • Thumbnail for Kashima Miya - Main entrance to Kashima Shrine
    Kashima Miya - Main entrance to Kashima Shrine

    This angle shows the stone basin where the worshippers cleanse themselves, as well as the small administrative structure adjacent to the main hall.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Image of Kobo Daishi
    Hasedera - Image of Kobo Daishi

    This is the interior of the Kobo Daishi Hall.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Scripture Hall
    Hasedera - Scripture Hall

    Copies of scriptures hand-scribed by the faithful are stored in this hall. Many short, and sometimes long, Buddhist texts are copied as part of a practice that accumulates merit. The Heart Sutra (Hannya Shingyo) is a one-page text widely copied throughout Buddhist East Asia. This merit is often dedicated to a deceased or ill loved-one with the hope that they fare well.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Alongside covered stairway
    Hasedera - Alongside covered stairway

    This is the view of the perimeter of the stairs leading to the main temple visible above. The terraces and the rain gutter are made of hand-placed stone. Note the small stone bridges apparently designed for access to the plants across the gutter.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - View alongside covered stairs
    Hasedera - View alongside covered stairs

    The ascending garden along the stairs is filled with gorgeous hydrangea (called "ajisai" in Japanese) in the summer.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Kobo Daishi Hall
    Hasedera - Kobo Daishi Hall

    This hall enshrines a portrait of the founder of the Shingon school of Japanese Buddhism, Kobo Daishi (Kukai).

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Fudo image
    Hasedera - Fudo image

    Statue of Fudo Myo-o within sub-temple.

  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - An ema with a wish
    Ikuta Jinja - An ema with a wish

    This ema reads, " School: I pray that I may easily get into school." From a young age, Japanese children take what are often very competitive tests to enter both public and private schools. In the month of May, petitioners will post such ema around exam time, whether they seek to enter a junior high, high school or college.

  • Thumbnail for Minatogawa Jinja - Shrine souvenir and amulet shop
    Minatogawa Jinja - Shrine souvenir and amulet shop

    This shrine shop has posted above the left-hand side of the counter a chart indicating unlucky years (yakudoshi) when one might most feel the need for an amulet (o-mamori) or two.

  • Thumbnail for Kashima Miya - Interior view of subsidiary shrine
    Kashima Miya - Interior view of subsidiary shrine

    Inside we see a small mirror, which is often present in a shrine as an embodiment (shintai) of the kami. There are also small containers visible that may be filled with water, rice or even sake as offerings.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Temple shop and pilgrim center
    Hasedera - Temple shop and pilgrim center

    At this building within the Hasedera complex, visitors can purchase amulets (o-mamori) and various memorablia. Here too pilgrims can receive a large stamp for placement in their "stamp book" which documents their visits to many holy places.

  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Modern visitor
    Ikuta Jinja - Modern visitor

    This young woman sits in the shade on a ledge beside the main hall. She holds her cell phone and either reads or sends an email message.

  • Thumbnail for Kashima Miya - Washing basin
    Kashima Miya - Washing basin

    At this stone basin worshippers will rinse both hand and mouth as a symbolic act of purification before proceeding into the shrine center.

  • Thumbnail for Kashima Miya - Subsidiary shrine at Kashima
    Kashima Miya - Subsidiary shrine at Kashima

    There are often multiple places for worship within a compound. This small shrine also has an offerings box to the right.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Main hall balcony and pagoda
    Hasedera - Main hall balcony and pagoda

    View of five-layered pagoda from balcony of main hall.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Kannon statue
    Hasedera - Kannon statue

    Kannon image in main hall.

  • Thumbnail for Southeast Asian style pagoda memorial in the forest
    Southeast Asian style pagoda memorial in the forest

    I cannot recall what this shrine is for but it resembles others at Koyasan that embody the religious architectural conventions of Southeast Asia and so is likely dedicated to the many soldiers, Japanese and local, who lost their lives there during World War Two.

  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Torii lined path
    Ikuta Jinja - Torii lined path

    This short path leading to a small shrine within the Ikuta Jinja compound is lined by vermillion torii. Many Shinto shrines will have paths almost covered by torii in this manner. The torii are commonly erected on behalf of donors to the shrine.

  • Thumbnail for Minatogawa Jinja - Side entrance
    Minatogawa Jinja - Side entrance

    The side gate is not nearly as elaborate as the main gate. A visitor who felt a need to make a sincere petition would likely enter through the larger main gate.

  • Thumbnail for Random view from main path to Okunoin
    Random view from main path to Okunoin

    The pillar to the left designates the small hall behind the tree as one dedicated to some practices of the Shingon school.

  • Thumbnail for Main gate of Henjoko-in at Koyasan
    Main gate of Henjoko-in at Koyasan

    This is just one of hundreds of such massive entrance gates to a temple in the town of Koyasan.

  • Thumbnail for Shrine stairs with torii
    Shrine stairs with torii

    These stairs lead from the main street to a small shrine in the forest behind the houses visible to the right.

  • Thumbnail for Various Jizo statues beside tree on Okunoin path
  • Thumbnail for Shrine to soldiers who died in World War Two