Image search results - "chomeiji"
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Entrance to Chomeiji Temple. MAP
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808 steps to Chomeiji. Chomeiji (Long Life Temple) worships the Kannon goddess dedicated to long life and good health. It belongs to the Tendai Buddhist sect.
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Halfway point and rest stop
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The steps never seem to end...
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For people with cars, drive almost to the top
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Top in sight
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Gate to temple, at lastTook me over 20 min. to climb the 808 steps.
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Water fountain
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Last flight of steps
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Stone lantern sculpture
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Verse 6 Lyrics (Chomeiji) 六番の英訳(長命寺)Saigoku pilgrimage, Chomeiji.
Dispel this world's impureness, very faraway.
Golden waves on which we weave, rowing all we can.
Tell us my friends your stories, with your fervent hearts.

西国十番 長命寺
汚れの現世 遠く去りて
黄金の波に いざ漕がん
語れ我が友 熱き心

Saigoku Juban, Chomeiji
Kegare no utsushiyo, tooku sarite
Kogane no nami ni, iza kogan
Katare wagatomo, atsuki kokoro
--
This verse is said to refer to the Pure Land of Buddhism. The song has strong Buddhist overtones, but interestingly the melody happens to be based on a Christian hymn. Chomeiji was a lunch stop before they rowed back to Otsu.

Calling Chomeiji the "10th Temple" is the song's most glaring mistake. It is actually the 31st Temple on the Saigoku Pilgrimage, a circuit of 33 temples scattered in Wakayama, Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Nara, Shiga, and Gifu Prefectures. But "31st" in Japanese had too many syllables to match the song's melody. Therefore, "10th" was used. It goes to show how informally the song was written. They had no idea how famous and beloved the song would become. Chomeiji's stone monument for this verse shows only the last two lines and omits the mistaken "10th Temple" line.

The photo above was digitally altered. The colors are not real.

All photos and English translation by Philbert Ono
写真・英訳:オノ フィルバート

See more photos of Chomeiji Temple here.
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"Saigoku pilgrimage, Chomeiji."
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Chomeiji, 31st temple on the Saigoku Pilgrimage Circuit
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Chomeiji worships the Kannon goddess of long life and good health. "Chomeiji" literally means "Long Life Temple." See more photos of Chomeiji Temple here.
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"Dispel this world's impureness, very faraway."
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3-story pagodaThis is what you first see at the top.
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Stone monument for Verse 6
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Hondo main hall and pagoda 本堂
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Kyoto University Rowing Club at Chomeiji in Aug. 2006 during their annual Lake Biwa rowing trip. 写真/尾城徹雄
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HondoPilgrims often come and chant.
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Hondo altar
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Hondo altar
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Hondo altar
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Ema prayer tablet for Chomeiji
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Hondo 本堂
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Hondo
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Roof ornament
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護摩堂
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3-story pagoda 三重塔Important Cultural Property
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納礼堂
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Temple grounds
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View of Lake Biwa
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Chomeiji is also part of the Lake Biwa Japan Heritage.
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On the way to the main temple is this song monument for Biwako Shuko no Uta (Lake Biwa Rowing Song).
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The Biwako Shuko no Uta song monument is engraved with the song's Verse 6 that mentions Chomeiji.
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With the pagoda in the background, the song monument can be seen on the lower right.
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三仏堂
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三仏堂
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三仏堂
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Bell tower 鐘楼
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Bell tower
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Inside the bell tower. Admission is free, but a small donation is requested to ring the bell.
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You have to go up the steps to ring the temple bell.
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Bell ringer log and rope.
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Temple bell.
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如法行堂
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As seen from the bell tower
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Chomeiji roofs
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大権現社
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Giant rock
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天尊堂
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Stairs back down
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Lake Biwa Rowing Song (Biwako Shuko no Uta) monument 琵琶湖就航の歌 歌碑The song is about a four-day, boat-rowing trip around Lake Biwa undertaken on June 27, 1917 by seven college students. They were in the rowing club at an elite college in Kyoto called Dai-san Koto Gakko (No. 3 High School 第三高等学校) which later merged with Kyoto University. They started at Otsu and rowed to Omatsu (now called Omi-Maiko), Imazu, Chikubushima island, Nagahama, Hikone, Chomeiji, and back to Otsu. They stopped overnight at Omatsu, Imazu, and Hikone.

For a detailed explanation of this song and monument, this album.

Biwako Shuko no Uta
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Lake Biwa Rowing Song (Biwako Shuko no Uta) monument 琵琶湖就航の歌 歌碑
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Lake Biwa Rowing Song (Biwako Shuko no Uta) monument for Verse 6 琵琶湖就航の歌 歌碑
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Lake Biwa Rowing Song (Biwako Shuko no Uta) monument 琵琶湖就航の歌 歌碑
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Chomeiji pier
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Chomeiji bus stop
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