Temples & Shrines

Double Your Money in Kamakura

Aug 19th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Featured Articles, Temples & Shrines, Travel

Take a gamble on the strength of your faith the next time you visit Kamakura and you may leave richer in both spiritual and monetary terms. The Zeniarai Bentzaiten Ugafuku Jinja (shrine) is dedicated to Benzai, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, who is revered as the Goddess of knowledge, art and beauty, [...]



1000 Paper Cranes & Colorful Ema

Jun 30th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo and Vicinity

Shrines in Japan offer up beautiful vignettes for visitors to enjoy at every turn.  The torii (entrance gate) can be impressive, large and wooden like that at Meiji Jingu, multiple smaller ones in a distinctive red, or a single simple torii that humbly announces the presence of the shrine. The path to the shrine itself [...]



Daruma

Jun 23rd, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines

No arms, no legs, but a well know symbol of good luck in Japan, Daruma dolls were first made over 300 years ago at a temple in Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture in the likeness of Daruma, the Japanese name for Bodhidharma and the founder of Zen Buddhism who achieved enlightenment by staring at a blank [...]



Oshima Island Jizo

Jun 16th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines

The bright red Togetsu Bridge connects Oshima Island (sometimes referred to as Ojima Island) to the town of Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture.  After crossing the short but stunning red bridge take some time explore the small island’s rocky terrain along winding paths that take you past more than fifty caves carved into the rock containing [...]



Kobo Daishi

Jun 9th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo and Vicinity

Kobo Daishi is the posthumous name of a Buddhist monk known as Kukai who established the Shignon sect of Buddhism with the creation of a seminary community and an Esoteric Buddhism School over 1,200 years ago on Mt. Koya in Wakayama Prefecture. Today, statues and images of Kobo Daishi abound in Japan and many believe [...]



Kameido Tenjin Cure?

May 5th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo and Vicinity

A trip to the Kameido Wisteria Festival found all of the usual attractions of a matsuri (festival) in Japan; abundant food stalls, good weather and  plenty of people but Mother Nature had other ideas when it came to cooperating with the wisteria blooms.  Only a few of the wisteria vines were blooming and I would [...]



Tengu on Mt. Takao

Apr 28th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo and Vicinity

Tengu, the Japanese god of mischief and patron saint of the martial arts, is ever present on Mt. Takao. On a beautiful sunny day this past weekend I made the trip to Takao Quasi-National Park.  After taking the cable car up Mt. Takao I took the 30 minute walk up stairs, down valleys, and up [...]



Flaming Incense at a Japanese Temple

Apr 14th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo and Vicinity

At Benzaiten, a temple surrounded by the waters of Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park, the flames licked the incense burning in the large bronze koro (incense burner) sitting at the base of the steps to the temple. The lovely island temple in the heart of Tokyo is dedicated to the only goddess among the Seven [...]



Big Copper Buddha in Yanaka

Mar 31st, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo and Vicinity

Wandering through a cemetery on a chilly Saturday afternoon might not be at the top of most people’s lists of things to do when visiting Japan but that’s just what I did this past Saturday.  The cherry blossoms were just beginning to bloom along the windy paths through Yanaka Cemetery as I headed for Tennoji [...]



Kimonos Up Close at Meiji Jingu

Jan 20th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo and Vicinity

Stunning Kimonos on young women celebrating Seiji no Hi, coming of age day, this past January 12th at Meiji Jingu Shrine in Tokyo, Japan – another beautiful additional to our gallery from my friend, Jason Collin.   Thanks, Jason! In his own words: “I had already been shooting at Meiji Jingu Shrine in Yoyogi for about [...]