Places in Japan
The Kōryū-ji Temple（広隆寺）in Kyoto.
Within this beautiful temple, you can see a famous stature Miroku-Bosatsu Hanka Shiizō（弥勒菩薩 半跏思惟像）.
In 603, Prince Shōtoku (Shōtoku Taishi, 聖徳太子, 573-621） gave it to Hatano Kawakatsu（秦河勝）, he was the founder of this temple, and belonged to the Shingon sect of Buddhism. He placed it as the idol of this temple. It is located in Yamashiro（山城） in Kyoto.
This stature, Maitreya was imported from Kudara（百済）, Korea.
Maitreya is thinking how he should save people. This stature shows his shape. It' s a very beautiful form.
He is the God who is in charge of saving people from all their worries and suffering, instead of Buddha, and lead them to the light and true way.
The Sanjūsangen-dō（三十三間堂） is called officially the Rengeō-in temple（蓮華王院）.
It was established by the powerful warrior-politician Taira-no-Kiyomori（平清盛）in 1164.
As there are thirty-three spaces between the columns, this temple came to be called "Sanjusangen-do" (A hall of 33 spaces).
in this temple, you can see the 1001 statures of Buddist deity, Senju-Kannon（千手観音）.
One big stature is placed in the center of these statures. And others are standing around it, each with a different face, so you can see a very similar face to you. Senju-Kannon has one thousands hands and this God can save us from any suffering.
In front of these statures, you can see two Gods. The Thunder God, Raijin（雷神） and the Wind God, Fūjin（風神）, they are placed either side of this temple hall.
The image of these gods is derived from fear and gratitude of nature in the old days. People worshiped them as deities who controlled rain and wind, and brought about good harvests. These stature are representative of the masterpiece sculpture of the Kamakura period ( 12th-14th centuries).
The twenty-eight images, Kannon Nijūhachi-bu--syū-zō（観音二十八部衆像） are placed in a straight line in front of the 1001 statues of the guardian deities which protect the Buddhist deity Senju-Kannon. Many of these deities, whose mythic images are expressed in a vivid manner, have their origin in ancient India.
Hōkoku-ji Temple （報国寺）in Kamakura.
When you visit Kamakura city, please visit Hōkoku-ji Temple.
Hōkoku-ji Temple is one of the Zen temples which belong to Kencho-ji Temple of the Rinzai Sect. It was established by Tengan Eko in 1334.
In this garden, you can see a bamboo forest and hear beautiful birds, Uguisu（鶯）: Japanese bush warblers, singing in spring and early summer.
Here, there are 2000 Moso-bamboo(the biggest species of bamboo)all year round.
If you order green tea, you will get a relaxing Japanese experiance and it will bring you peace of mind.
The history of the Sacred Bridge, Shinkyo（神橋）.
To climb Mt.Nantai-san, in the begining, Shōdo shōnin and his disciples had to cross the Daiya river（大谷川）. The river was too strong and rapid to cross.
Then, Jinja-daio/Bishamon-ten（深紗大王/毘沙門天）, who is a Guardian God who protects northern world, decided to help them.
The God threw two snakes down and from their bodies grew great ivy plants that formed a big bridge.
So Shōdo shōnin and his disciples could cross the river.
It took them three attempts but they could finally climb Mt.Nantai-san, and they eventually made a shrine on the top for the people to worship at. But it took a long time and for 17 years they built the shrine and the path up the mountain.
The sacred bridge was only used by Imperial Messengers on special events.
Later, a wooden bridge was made for people, alongside the sacred Bridge, Shinkyo.
About 1200 years ago, the Tōhoku region was foreign country. The Japanese Imperial Court had to protect against the enemies from the Tohoku area.
The Nikko region was the northern area of Japan.
Many people in the Nikko area used to pray for the protection of Japan from the foreigners. At that time Mt.Nantai-san（男体山） in Nikko was the most important defence point and used as a sort of fortress.
Many Japanese warriors, led by the hero Saka-no-ueno-Tamuramaro (坂上田村麻呂), fought the foreigners and finally conquered the Tohoku region.
The founder, high priest Shōdo shōnin（勝道上人）created a holy place on Mt. Nantai-san and other places for worship in the Nikko area.
At that time, around the Nikko Tōshōgū Shrine there are many world heritage sites, such as the dense, jungle like, forest.
Mt.Nantai-san and Thuzenji-ko Lake.
Sensō-ji Temple（浅草寺） at Asakusa.
It is the oldest temple in Tokyo. It was built in 628.
Asakusa-Kannonn （浅草観音）; is a Buddist deity who is very popular among civilians.
It was a place for mature culture in the Edo period.
Nowadays, visitors can see and feel the atmosphere of Edo culture in this area.
There are many events and festivals throughout the seasons. And this shopping arcade will make you happy. You will find fine souvenirs for friends and family.