Most viewed - Miidera Temple 三井寺
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Main entrance to Miidera (Onjoji) temple. It is the headquarters temple of the Tendai Jimon Buddhist Sect (founded by Priest Enchin) and former rival of Enryakuji temple on Mt. Hiei, also in Shiga. MAP427 views
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Nagara Jinja Shrine199 views
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Moon-viewing stage 勧月舞台 and cherry blossoms at Miidera with Lake Biwa in the background.194 views
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Nagara Shrine Honden Hall. The original shrine was atop the mountain, but it was later moved here in 1054 at the foot of Mt. Nagara to make it more accessible to worshippers.149 views
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Map of Miidera temple showing a variety of structures at the foot of Mt. Nagara (not Mt. Hiei). There are about 40 buildings, but you can enter only a few of them. It's not a huge complex, but allow at least 90 min. to see the major things.148 views
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In 860, Miidera Founder Enchin worshipped this shrine as the guardian deity of Miidera.145 views
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Miidera's Three-story pagoda (Sanju-no-to)144 views
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Daimon Gate (also called Niomon Gate) is the temple's front gate. Built in 1452 and transferred here from Jorakuji temple in Koka by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1601. Important Cultural Property. 仁王門113 views
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Kannon-do complex at Miidera temple, Shiga.111 views
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Priest Enchin (Chisho-daishi) also used the sacred well water for a succession ceremony and called the temple, "Miidera" using the kanji for "three wells." The official name of "Onjoji" was given by Emperor Temmu. Back of Nio103 views
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These photos were taken in both April during cherry blossoms season and in summer.100 views
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Issaikyo-zo Hall is a storehouse for all of the temple's Buddhist scriptures and valuable books. Built in the Muromachi Period and moved here from Yamaguchi Pref. in 1602 by Lord Mori Terumoto. Important Cultural Property. 一切経蔵96 views
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Somewhat away from the central area of Miidera is another National Treasure called Kojo-in Kyakuden. Unfortunately, it's closed to the public. All you see is this wall and a roof.92 views
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Miidera's Kondo Hall and cherry blossoms in Otsu.92 views
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Evening Bell at Miidera temple from his "Omi Hakkei" (Eight Views of Omi) series.92 views
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Cherry blossoms and the Niomon Gate at night in April.86 views
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Front of Niomon Gate. The name Miidera literally means "Three-Well Temple." It refers to three Emperors (Tenchi, Temmu, and Jito) who as newborns bathed in the temple's Akaiya well. "Mii" 御井 originally meant "sacred well.82 views
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Kondo Hall81 views
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Miidera temple's Kondo Hall, a National Treasure and Miidera's main worship hall built in 1599 in Otsu. 金堂80 views
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Miidera cherry blossoms at night.74 views
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Back of Niomon Gate.71 views
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Miidera's Three-story pagoda (Sanju-no-to)69 views
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Next to Miidera temple's southern boundary is Nagara Shrine. The shrine is not part of Miidera, but it is often included in maps of Miidera temple. 長等神社68 views
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View from the bridge during cherry blossom season, looking toward the Kondo Hall.68 views
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Miidera's cherry blossoms are also lit up at night. (See photos at bottom.)68 views
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Built in 1905, gate of Nagara Jinja Shrine.67 views
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Inside Issaikyo-zo Hall is an octagonal, rotating Rinzo rack where the scriptures are stored.66 views
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It's a huge bell. After hearing the sound of the bell on Mt. Hiei, Benkei was disgusted with how it sounded and threw the bell back down the mountain.65 views
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Stone wall and gate to Kangaku-in Hall at Miidera temple (Onjoji), school for priests and a National Treasure but closed to the public. 勧学院61 views
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This is the closest we can get to Kangaku-in Hall, a National Treasure at Miidera temple in Otsu.60 views
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Kondo Main Hall, a National Treasure and Miidera's largest building. However, it was undergoing roof repairs in June 2008. Completed in fall 2008. 金堂59 views
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Near the Niomon Gate is the Shaka-do Hall (also called Jiki-do 食堂) which worships the Shaka Nyorai statue. Dating from the early Muromachi Period, an Important Cultural Property. Photography is not allowed inside.58 views
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About Kojo-in Kyakuden. It also has a Japanese garden not open to the public. 光浄院客殿58 views
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Cherry blossoms and three-story pagoda at night.57 views
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Gate to Kangaku-in Hall, school for priests at Miidera temple in Otsu. Closed to the public.55 views
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Inside Onjoji Akaiya is the sacred spring whose water is drawn to be offered in front of the temple altar. The water was also used to bathe the newborn Emperor Tenji, Tenmu, and Jito. The name Miidera (Three Wells) comes from this spring.53 views
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Otsu-e picture. Details about Otsu-e here.52 views
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Inside the Miidera Bell Pavilion, the source of the "Evening Bell at Miidera temple."51 views
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Path to the To-in complex.51 views
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Steps going up to the Kondo Hall.51 views
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Inside Kondo Hall.50 views
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Vintage postcard view of the same scene in Miidera. Otsu was much less developed.49 views
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Kondo Hall and cherry blossoms.49 views
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This small building houses a temple bell which, according to legend, warrior monk Benkei from Enryakuji stole from Miidera and carried up to Enryakuji on Mt. Hiei.49 views
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Inside Kondo Hall, built in 1599. Miroku Bosatsu statue is the object of worship.49 views
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It costs 300 yen to ring this bell once. (Not supposed to ring it more than once unless you pay again.) Also see my YouTube video here. 三井晩鐘48 views
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Next to Kondo Hall is a small building called the Onjoji Akaiya, an Important Cultural Property. 閼伽井屋47 views
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Miidera temple47 views
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Evening Bell at Miidera temple from his "Omi Hakkei" (Eight Views of Omi) series.47 views
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Inside Kannon-do Hall46 views
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Next to the Kondo hall is the famous Mii Bell Pavilion (Mii-no-Bansho). It is one of the Omi Hakkei (Eight Views of Omi) depicted in ukiyoe woodblock prints. Dating from the Momoyama period, it is an Important Cultural Property.46 views
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The lookout point gives the best views. The Kannon-do is on the left. Central Otsu can be seen in the distance as well as Lake Biwa.46 views
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There is a small opening where you can enter the bell pavilion to ring the gong. 鐘楼45 views
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On the left of the Kancho-do is the Chonichi Goma-do Hall. Important Cultural Property. 長日護摩堂45 views
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Goho Zenjin-do Hall worships a guardian deity for children. Pray here for a safe childbirth and healthy growth of your kids. 護法善神堂45 views
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When the temple founder was crossing this bridge, a temple in China was ablaze. When he sprinkled water from a well, a mist arose from beneath the bridge and flew to extinguish the burning temple in China. 村雲橋44 views
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Kondo Hall 44 views
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Gate to the To-in complex, Miidera's most sacred area where Enchin (Chisho-Daishi) is buried and enshrined. All the buildings are Important Cultural Properties. 唐院43 views
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In front of the Kannon-do Hall is the water basin for purification.43 views
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Soroban (Abacus) Monument43 views
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Mii Bell Pavilion (Mii-no-Bansho) on the right. The small building on the left is a gift shop where you buy a ticket to ring the bell.43 views
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Steps going to Issaikyo-zo Hall.43 views
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Incense burner inside Kannon-do Hall42 views
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Another gate to Goho Zenjin-do Hall42 views
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Lotus pond41 views
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Inside Issaikyo-zo Hall41 views
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Hydrangea in June41 views
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Shuho Kannon. Worship her and become prosperous. 衆宝観音41 views
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About Kangaku-in Hall.41 views
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In the center of the To-in complex is the Kancho-do Hall. Its a dojo exercise hall for entering the priesthood and conducting Buddhist initiation ceremonies. 潅頂堂40 views
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Built in 1616, Bishamon-do Hall is an Important Cultural Property. 毘沙門堂40 views
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On the right of the Kancho-do is the three-story pagoda (Sanju-no-to). It was moved from Fushimi Castle in Kyoto in 1601 by Tokugawa Ieyasu. Important Cultural Property. 三重塔40 views
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Side view of Kannon-do Hall.39 views
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Ema tablet39 views
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Ema tablet pavilion39 views
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Kondo Hall corner wood beam39 views
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Kondo Hall and cherry blossoms.39 views
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Kondo Hall and cherry blossoms.39 views
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Another building in the To-in area.38 views
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Hydrangea38 views
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Bishamon-do Hall. 毘沙門堂38 views
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Inside bell tower38 views
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Cherry blossoms at Miidera temple, Shiga.38 views
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Beautiful cherry blossoms at night.38 views
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Behind the Kancho-do Hall is the Daishi-do Hall where Enchin is interred.38 views
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Kondo Hall38 views
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Going toward the southern precinct of the temple, you see this Bimyoji temple with an 11-faced Kannon statue, an Important Cultural Property. The building was reconstructed in 1776. 微妙寺37 views
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Kannon-do Hall, Miidera temple, Shiga37 views
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Cherry blossoms in April.37 views
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Steps leading to the Kannon-do Hall on a hill in the southern precinct of Miidera.36 views
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Statue inside Kannon-do Hall36 views
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Moon-viewing stage 勧月舞台36 views
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Kondo Hall veranda36 views
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Kondo Hall carvings36 views
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View of central Otsu which is experiencing a building boom along the lake shore. This has prompted local residents to seek a building height limit, otherwise the lake would disappear from view.36 views
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Kondo Hall carvings36 views
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On the left in the back are steps going up to the lookout deck. A must-see vantage point.36 views
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Tendai Daishi statue35 views
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Kannon-do Hall is the 14th temple in the Saigoku (Western Japan) pilgrimage circuit of 33 temples. Important Cultural Property 観音堂35 views
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Inside Kannon-do Hall35 views
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The stone marker on the right indicates where Emperor Meiji was when he visited here.35 views
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On the fringe of Miidera is Somon Gate 総門35 views
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Gate to Goho Zenjin-do Hall35 views
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Kondo Hall roof35 views
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Kannon-do on the left.35 views
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On the lookout deck.35 views
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Bell tower34 views
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Bell tower next to Kannon-do Hall.34 views
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The lookout point is like a park with various monuments.34 views
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Monument dedicated to Shiga Prefectural police officers.34 views
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Bishamon-do Hall and maple leaves. Should return in fall.32 views
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Miidera Station on the Keihan Ishiyama-Sakamoto Line is the closest station to Miidera temple (and Lake Biwa Canal).16 views
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Miidera Station platform.3 views
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Miidera Station platform.3 views
     
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