JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Last additions - Aisho 愛荘町
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Echigawa-juku (66th post town on the Nakasendo) from his Kisokaido series. On the left across the river is Mt. Kannonji (Kinugake).Apr 23, 2011
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Temari manhole cover in Aisho, ShigaMay 31, 2008
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Bin-temari mail box in front of Echigawa Station.May 31, 2008
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In a small room in the library is Echigawa's sister city exhibit. Echigawa used to be a separate town before it merged with Aito to form Aisho town.May 31, 2008
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Sister city certificate for West Bend, Wisconsin, USA, in Echigawa Public Library.May 31, 2008
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Quilt from Echigawa's sister city of West Bend, Wisconsin.May 31, 2008
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From the city of West Bend, Wisconsin.May 31, 2008
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The museum complex includes the Echigawa Public Library.May 31, 2008
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Panel displays showing the history of Echigawa.May 31, 2008
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Aerial photo of Echigawa.May 31, 2008
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Crane design in temariMay 31, 2008
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Nakasendo Road in ShigaMay 31, 2008
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On display are temari balls from other parts of Japan.May 31, 2008
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Some balls have tassels.May 31, 2008
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May 31, 2008
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The ball is actually hollow like a balloon. It is inserted into the bottle in a deflated state, then expanded into a ball. The museum also has a fascinating video showing how temari is made.May 31, 2008
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After Aoki's death, a temari preservation society was formed and the craft was passed on based on Aoki's husband's memory of how his wife made it. Besides Echigawa, only a few other places in Japan still make bin-temari.May 31, 2008
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Bin-temari in Echigawa, Shiga. Echigawa's bin-temari history goes back to around 1840 when its oldest bin-temari was made. However, this traditional art died out with the death of Aoki Hiro in 1973, Echigawa's last bin-temari maker.May 31, 2008
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It makes you wonder how they fit the temari threaded ball into the round glass bottle.May 31, 2008
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Bin-temari come in different sizes and an infinite number of threaded-ball designs. It also makes a great wedding gift since the round shape symbolizes harmony of the heart and family. You can also clearly see inside. 中がよく(仲良く)見えるMay 31, 2008
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Well-known bin-temari maker.May 31, 2008
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Entrance to the Echigawa Bin-temari Museum. Free admission.May 31, 2008
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Showcase full of bin-temari.May 31, 2008
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Inside the courtyard of the Echigawa Bin-temari Museum.May 31, 2008
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Bin-temari monument. "Bin" means bottle, and "temari" is a threaded ball. The bin-temari is a round glass ball with a threaded ball inside.May 31, 2008
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Echigawa Bin-temari-no-Yakata or the Echigawa Bin-temari Museum. Open 10 am - 6 pm, closed Mon., Tue., last Wed. of the month, and national holidays. 7-min. walk from Echigawa Station. 愛知川びん手まりの館May 31, 2008
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Bin Temari no Yakata Museum exhibits temari threaded balls in round glass bottles. Temari is a symbol of Echigawa. Near Echigawa Station. Intersection in Echigawa with a bin-temari monument. MapMay 31, 2008
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Echigawa Fire Dept.May 31, 2008
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City logoMay 31, 2008
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Former Echi Town HallMay 31, 2008
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Omi Hemp Fabric Museum offer hands-on lessons to make small hemp fabric goods. Closed weekends and national holidays. 近江上布伝統産業会館May 31, 2008
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Modern homes in EchigawaMay 31, 2008
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Former Echi Town Hall built in 1922.May 31, 2008
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May 31, 2008
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Former Echi Town HallMay 31, 2008
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Shinkansen tracks and cycling pathMay 31, 2008
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Ohmi Railway trackMay 31, 2008
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Ohmi Railway trackMay 31, 2008
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Ohmi Railways Echigawa Station platform.May 31, 2008
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Railway crossingMay 31, 2008
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Parallel to Echigawa Station is the elevated shinkansen tracks.May 31, 2008
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Ohmi Railways Echigawa StationMay 31, 2008
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Ohmi Railways Echigawa Station platform.May 31, 2008
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Ohmi Railways train at Echigawa Station.May 31, 2008
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Ohmi Railways Echigawa Station platform.May 31, 2008
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Ohmi Railways Echigawa Station. The station building, named Ruburu Echigawa, has a tourist information counter and exhibition gallery.May 31, 2008
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Temari decoration on bridge.May 31, 2008
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Takeheiro on the left, along the Nakasendo Road in Echigawa-juku, Shiga.May 31, 2008
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South end gate of Echigawa-juku.May 31, 2008
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Entrance to Takeheiro. It's not open to the public unless you want to dine there. 竹平楼May 31, 2008
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Toward the south end of Echigawa-juku. Bridge has a temari decoration.May 31, 2008
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Manhole in Echigawa-juku, Shiga, with a temari (thread ball) design.May 31, 2008
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Stone monument at Takeheiro indicating that Emperor Meiji was here.May 31, 2008
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Hachiman Jinja Shrine Honden main hall is a Shiga Prefecture Cultural Property.May 31, 2008
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Another famous building remaining in Echigawa-juku. This is the Takeheiro restaurant where Emperor Meiji once stayed.May 31, 2008
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Shops along the NakasendoMay 31, 2008
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Hachiman Jinja Shrine, Echigawa-jukuMay 31, 2008
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The shrine has ties to Prince Shotoku Taishi who hid here from an enemy during a war. In appreciation, he donated rice paddies to the shrine.May 31, 2008
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Way to Hachiman Shrine.May 31, 2008
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Hachiman Jinja Shrine in Echigawa-juku, ShigaMay 31, 2008
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Looks like a former bank building.May 31, 2008
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Inside Homanji Hondo main hall in Echigawa-juku, Shiga PrefectureMay 31, 2008
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Some modern buildings along the Nakasendo in Echigawa-jukuMay 31, 2008
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View from Hondo hall.May 31, 2008
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Homanji HondoMay 31, 2008
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St. Shinran statue and plum tree.May 31, 2008
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May 31, 2008
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The plum tree blooms in March.May 31, 2008
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While traveling, St. Shinran was unable to cross the Echigawa River since there was a flood. So he stayed at this temple temporarily. During that time, he planted a plum tree which bloom red plum blossoms.May 31, 2008
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Statue of St. Shinran (1173-1263) in front of the plum tree which he planted. The temple also has a scroll written by Shinran.May 31, 2008
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Gate to Homanji temple.May 31, 2008
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Way to Homanji temple where St. Shinran once stayed.May 31, 2008
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Homanji temple Hondo hall in Echigawa-juku, Shiga. 宝満寺May 31, 2008
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Pocket park in Echigawa-juku.May 31, 2008
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Marker indicating that St. Shinran, founder of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Sect, once stayed at this temple.May 31, 2008
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Heading south on the Nakasendo in Echigawa-juku.May 31, 2008
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Traditional-style buildingMay 31, 2008
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Large intersection has an Echigawa-juku monument.May 31, 2008
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The street corner has a pocket park for an Echigawa-juku monument showing an ukiyoe print of the town. A stone marker also points the way to Takamiya-juku.May 31, 2008
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Meiji Period-style mail box. It's a real mail box so you can deposit your mail here.May 31, 2008
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The ukiyoe print by Hiroshige shows a bridge across Echigawa River. It was toll-free (Muchin-bashi).May 31, 2008
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Nakasendo in Echigawa-jukuMay 31, 2008
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Entrance to Echigawa-juku at the northern end. Echigawa-juku was the sixty-sixth station or post town (shukuba) of the sixty-nine stations on the Nakasendo Road. MapMay 31, 2008
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This is a high-class ryotei restaurant called Omi Shonin-tei (近江商人亭). Built in the 1920s, it used to be an Omi Merchant's second home who sold hemp cloth.This is also one location where the film Idai Naru, Shurararabon (偉大なる、しゅららぼん The Great Shu Ra Ra Boom) was filmed. The Natsume family's dojo scene.May 31, 2008
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Echigawa-juku was the sixty-sixth station or post town (shukuba) of the sixty-nine stations on the Nakasendo Road. It is the sixth Nakasendo station in Shiga (following Takamiya-juku in Hikone), and one of ten Nakasendo stations in Shiga.In front of Echigawa Station, a sign point the way to Echigawa-juku (go right).May 31, 2008
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Sep 07, 2006
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Sep 07, 2006
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After the bon fire, the taiko drum procession leaves the shrine and parades around the village.Sep 07, 2006
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Fire finally dies down.Sep 07, 2006
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LanternSep 07, 2006
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Taiko drum beatingSep 07, 2006
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Sep 07, 2006
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Torii at Misaki Shrine Fire Festival.Sep 07, 2006
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Misaki Shrine Fire Festival in Aisho. The shrine has a 5-meter tall pile of bamboo which is lit to make a towering inferno within the shrine grounds. Very dramatic. Also see the video at YouTube.Sep 07, 2006
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Towering inferno of bamboo on fire. The shrine has a 5-meter tall pile of bamboo which is lit to make a towering inferno within the shrine grounds. Very dramatic. Sep 07, 2006
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The torch procession rings out.Sep 07, 2006
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Procession of local residents carrying torches to the shrine. MapSep 07, 2006
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Held annually on May 4, the Misaki Shrine Fire Festival (hi-matsuri) has local people carry 2-meter long torches from their homes to the shrie where a 5-meter tall pile of bamboo is lit to make a towering inferno.A taiko drum is also carried and beaten.Sep 07, 2006
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GardenDec 07, 2005
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Garden at KongorinjiDec 07, 2005
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Visit the next Koto Sanzan Temple at Saimyoji in Kora.Dec 07, 2005
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"Blood-red" maplesDec 07, 2005
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GardenDec 07, 2005
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On Aug. 9, the Jizo statues are lit with candles.Dec 07, 2005
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"Blood-red" maplesDec 07, 2005
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GardenDec 07, 2005
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Beauitful leavesDec 07, 2005
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Temple bellDec 07, 2005
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Inside 3-story pagodaDec 07, 2005
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More yellow and redDec 07, 2005
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3-story pagodaDec 07, 2005
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Kongorinji's Main temple roof drowning in fall leavesDec 07, 2005
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3-story pagodaDec 07, 2005
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Temple HondoDec 07, 2005
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Yellow and redDec 07, 2005
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Dec 07, 2005
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3-story pagodaDec 07, 2005
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Temple HondoDec 07, 2005
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Kongorinji's main temple hall is a National Treasure housing an 11-faced Kannon statue and 13 other statues designated as Important Cultural Properties. Aisho, Shiga. Dec 07, 2005
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3-story pagodaDec 07, 2005
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3-story pagoda, reconstructed in 1978Dec 07, 2005
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Gate to main hall. Tendai Buddhist temple established in 741 and the middle temple in the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio.Dec 07, 2005
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Kongorinji's Temple Hondo, a National Treasure in Aisho, Shiga.Dec 07, 2005
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Temple Hondo, a National TreasureDec 07, 2005
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On Aug. 9, the Jizo statues are lit with candles. Kongorinji temple in Aisho, Shiga.Dec 07, 2005
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On Aug. 9, the Jizo statues are lit with candles.Dec 07, 2005
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Tour bus parking halfway up the mountainDec 07, 2005
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On Aug. 9, the Jizo statues are lit with candles.Dec 07, 2005
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Dec 07, 2005
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More Jizo statuesDec 07, 2005
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1000 Jizo statues. On Aug. 9, the Jizo statues are lit with candles.Dec 07, 2005
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Entering the path of little stone Jizo statuesDec 07, 2005
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Finally we see a buildingDec 07, 2005
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Dec 07, 2005
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And more leavesDec 07, 2005
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More path foilageDec 07, 2005
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Nice path with fall colorsDec 07, 2005
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It's all too beautifulDec 07, 2005
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Foilage on the pathDec 07, 2005
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Kongorinji is a Tendai Buddhist temple established in 741 and the middle temple in the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio. The main temple hall is a National Treasure housing an 11-faced Kannon statue and 13 other statues designated as Important Cultural Properties.They come by the busloads. If possible, you should avoid visiting the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio and Eigenji during the weekend in fall. If possible, you should avoid visiting the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio and Eigenji during the weekend in fall.Dec 07, 2005
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They come by the busloads. If possible, you should avoid visiting the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio and Eigenji during the weekend in fall. If possible, you should avoid visiting the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio and Eigenji during the weekend in fall. Stone marker.Dec 07, 2005
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Front gate. The temple was first built in 741 as ordered by Emperor Shomu. It later became a Tendai Buddhist temple in 850. It is famous for "blood-red" maple leaves in autumn. MapDec 07, 2005
     
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