Mimuroto-ji is known as the “Flower Temple,” so it’s a great place to visit during blooming season. Although the gardens managed to look nice even at the ending-edge of winter, my personal recommendation would be to visit during May or especially June, for the blooming of their spectacular ajisai (hydrangea) garden (containing ten-thousand flowers in hundreds of varieties and colors). They also have twenty-thousand azaleas, which bloom in May, and plenty of lotus flowers, which bloom later in the summer.
Archive for Emily Lemmon
葛井寺 Fujii-dera is temple number 5 of 33 on the pilgrim circuit, and as its name “Wisteria Well Temple” would suggest, it is a wonderful place to visit when the fuji are in bloom. These fragrant purple flowers typically bloom in very late April or in early May, around Golden Week. Other than the gorgeous blossoms, the main enshrined image of Fujii-dera might attract your attention. It is a senju (thousand armed) Kannon, which isn’t terribly rare, but this carving,
清水寺 As you prepare for the advent of spring, our quest for pilgrimage temples takes us further afield. Our next explorations will be into Kyoto, Osaka, and beyond. There are five pilgrimage temples clustered right in the city of Kyoto, and we’ll get to the other four later on. We shall begin with one of the biggest, most recognizable temples on the circuit today: Kyoto’s Kiyomizudera. The main Kannon image enshrined in this cultural heritage icon is a wooden 千手十一面観音,
大本山 中山寺 The easternmost of the pilgrimage temples located in Hyogo-ken is Nakayama-dera, number 24 on the official route. Nakayama-dera is located in the city of Takarazuka, and boasts a beautiful ume grove around back, in which about a thousand plum trees will be in bloom from late February through early March. Nakayama-dera’s claim to fame is babies. It’s a popular temple in the area for prayers regarding safe delivery, and there are special amulets on sale here with respect to
清水寺（播州） If you haven’t been to your first temple of the new year yet, consider giving Kiyomizudera a try! And I don’t even mean the one in Kyoto, though that it also part of our pilgrimage. Banshu Kiyomizu-dera, or “Kiyomizudera II” (as it is the second of that name on the pilgrimage) is temple 25 of the 33 on the route, and is located in Kato city, in Hyogo. Like most of the temples you’ll see, it boasts a better
You probably recognize the face of Dante Basco from his role as Rufio in the 1991 Spielberg movie, Hook, and those who love Avatar: The Last Airbender will recognize his voice as that of Prince Zuko. But while Dante’s had a successful career in Hollywood spanning several decades, his story is more the exception than the rule when it comes to Asian-Americans. Hollywood is a movie engine to more of an audience than I realized growing up. It wasn’t until
法華山一乗寺 If the leaves are still holding on, our next temple (number 26 on the pilgrimage list) is another great place to see them. Ichijo-ji, located in Kasai City, was built in 650. Its three-storied pagoda, completed in 1171, is a Japanese National Treasure and is also the oldest pagoda in Hyogo prefecture. Access to Ichijo-ji is by bus or car. You can take a Shinki bus bound for Yashiro (社) from Himeji Station Kitaguchi. It’s about a 35 minute,