Zenkō-ji In The Afternoon

I must give my legs some stretch instead of hugging a heater and watching TV all day like a pensioner, I thought. So I donned my fur coat & fedora and I volunteered to do grocery shopping at a local supermarket.

In Nagano-City, where my mum resides, Zenkō-ji temple is a major tourist attraction. The temple was built in the 7th century and still is one of the last few remaining pilgrimage sites in Japan.
I approached the temple from the rear. The vegetation around the north side of the temple was covered with the snow…


Tourists were trickling into the temple complex from a pay car park nearby, rubbing their hands and treading the path mindfully.

The main hall of Zenkō-ji temple…


The temple’s gigantic thatched roof had been dominating the skyline of Nagano City for many centuries.

In order to look inside of the shrine “Daihongan”, steep steps in front of the main hall had to be climbed…


After negotiating the stairs with an exceptionally high riser, I was confronted with an incense burner on top of the offertory box…


Unfortunately, cameras were banned from the inside of the shrine, therefore, no images.
The pungent smell of incense was overpowering. In the back of the dimly lit interior, there was a set of golden statues of Buddha, shimmering mysteriously in the candlelight, resembling opulent Baroque churches.

The view from the balcony…


Shadows were getting longer in the afternoon sun.
I must hurry to the supermarket…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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