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Located in Higashi-Omi and established by Shotoku Taishi in 609, Hyakusaiji temple is Shiga Prefecture's oldest temple and one of Japan's oldest. It belongs to the Tendai Buddhist Sect. MapThe temple's terraced slope had many temple residences for hundreds of monks training here. National Historic Site
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The two main areas are the hillside garden and the main worship hall. Most people visit the garden before climbing up the stone steps to the main worship hall. This is the long route to the temple. The tour buses go up to a closer gate.
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This is near the bus stop.
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Small gate ahead.
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Wooded path to Hyakusaiji.
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The hillside garden gives a good view of Lake Biwa. The main temple hall worships an 11-faced Kannon statue carved by Shotoku Taishi. Admission 500 yen.
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Somewhat famous slope of fallen maple leaves at Hyakusaiji.
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Autumn leaves. In its heyday, Hyakusaiji was home to 1,300 priests, before the temple was burned by Oda Nobunaga.
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Entrance for tour bus passengers and car owners. This is the short-cut way to the temple.
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Hyakusaiji temple Garden
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Hillside garden
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You can hike up the hillside garden.
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View from top. Hazy weather made it difficult to see the scenery.
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Landmarks seen from hilltop (on clear days)
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Hyakusaiji temple
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Steps to main temple
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Scale model of Hyakusaiji in its heydey when the terraced hills had many plots for monk residences.
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Easier way up to the main hall.
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Niomon Gate
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Hyakusaiji's Niomon Gate with giant straw sandals
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Symbol of Hyakusaiji.
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Giant sandals supposed to scare away evil spirits thinking that the sandals belong to a giant guardian.
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People also stuff coins (mostly 1 yen) into the sandals.
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More steps
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Main worship hall.
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Hyakusaiji's Main temple hall (hondo). Important Cultural Property.
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Hyakusaiji's Main temple hall (hondo). Important Cultural Property.
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Hyakusaiji's Main temple hall (hondo), Hyakusaiji.
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Main entrance to Hyakusaiji's Main temple hall (hondo).
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Inside the hondo main hall, Hyakusaiji
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Inside hondo, Hyakusaiji
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Facing the altar inside Hyakusaiji's main temple hall.
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Prince Shotoku Taishi
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Prince Shotoku Taishi
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Prayer tablet for Year of the Rooster.
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Hyakusaiji's temple bell.
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Hyakusaiji's temple bell.
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Pay a little money to ring the temple bell.
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Shuttle bus to the next temple.
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Visit the next Koto Sanzan Temple at Saimyoji in Kora.
 
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