Sunday, October 28, 2012

Japanese Heavenly Garden, Motsuji Temple

Motsuji Temple was constructed in Heian era (794-1192), and it is said that the temple used to flourish and have 40 halls and 500 monks' dormitories.  Also, this temple has an 850-year-old Jodo garden, which took in outstanding gardening technique and style at that time.

Jodo means the world of Budda.  So this garden was created to represent Pure Land or Heaven.  Please walk around the heavenly garden thinking about the ancient people who made this and wanted to go to heaven after death.

Because the temple suffered from numerous fires that eventually destroyed all for the 12th century buildings, the main hall here was constructed in 1988.  Now the colored leaves are very beautiful in fall, which has not been changed from 12th century for sure.

The main hall's principal image is a statue of Yakushi, Buddha of medicine, stayed with the bodhisattvas of solar and lunar radiance.  

The decoration is also very beautiful!

Basho Matsuo, the most famous poet of the Edo period, also came here and created a haiku (the Japanese poetic form.) in 1690s.  It is translated in English here.  
" The summer grass 'Tis all that's left of ancient warriors' dreams."
This is, "now only summer glasses are seen, but long time ago, the samurais were fought in this battlefield for their success and dreams."  It is impressing that old time poet created poem for older time warriors, isn't it?

Motsuji Temple is located near Hiraizumi Station, 7 minutes on foot.

Open Hours:  8:30-17:00 (11/5-4/4: 8:30-16:30)
Admission:  JPY500 for an adult

Experience Japan!