Sunday, June 24, 2012

1001 Buddhist statues, Sanjusangendo

"33" is in Japanese Sanjusan.  Sanjusangendo is called so because this temple is a hall with thirty-three spaces between columns.  The official name of Sanjusangendo is Rengeoin temple, and the structure is registered as a National Treasure by the Japanese government.  The original temple which was built in 1164 was lost in fire, but it was reconstructed in 1266. 

 The structure has remained unchanged for 700 years.

In front of the temple hall, there is Natural Springs for Worshippers.  This is called night sobbing springs because the flow of the spring sounds like a person sobbing.  On the other hand, it is said that visiting this spring helps to stop babies crying at night. 

You can also see Japanese style garden.

The hall of the temple is about 120 meter long.  The gallery on the western side of the hall is famous for the annual Toshiya Festival, held on January 15th.  Archers shoot arrows the length of the hall.  It seems so difficult to hit the target!

But the main part of this temple is the inside of the hall.   This temple houses 1001 statues of the 1000-armed Kannon (Buddhist deity).  The largest seated Kannon is National Treasure, and is flanked on either side by 500 smaller Kannon images, nearly lined up in rows.  It is said that there is one statue whose face is just like you, and if you find the statue, you have a good luck! So try to find one alike you here. 

You cannot eat, use a cell phone, or even take photos inside the hall. So please click here to take a look at the statues.

Opens 8:00~16:30 in summer time and 9:00~15:30 from Nov16 ~ Mar31
Admission fee is JPY600 for adults

Experience Japan!