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01.Shishigatani.area * This is the suburbia area where the Eikando Zenrin-ji and Nanzen-ji temples are located - Shishigatani. * 1767 x 1223 * (813KB)
02.Shishigatani.area * 1944 x 2916 * (1.83MB)
03.Before.the.gate * 1944 x 2669 * (1.93MB)
04 * Here we're past the Nanzen-ji temple entrance, getting close to Eikando. * 2916 x 1944 * (2.52MB)
05.Eikando.Torii * Eikando Zenrin-ji gate. * 2900 x 1833 * (2.6MB)
06.Shaka-do * Past the gate, on the left you can see the Shaka-do, the Chief Priest's quarters. Built in Muromachi period (some time between 1336 and 1573), this building is known as a true example of Shoin-zukuri (study-style) architecture. There are six rooms, each decorated with gorgeous fusuma such as the Matsutori-zu and the Gunsen-zu. * 2916 x 1944 * (2.39MB)
07.Shaka-do * The main gate of Shaka-do. On the background, you can see the Taho-to pagoda, from which you can have a nice landscape view of the city. * 2806 x 1871 * (2.19MB)
08.Shaka-do * This is the rear side of Shaka-do, where the wooden corridors are perfectly integrated with the peaceful, beautiful nature around. * 2916 x 1944 * (1.32MB)
09.Shaka-do * 2916 x 1944 * (2.73MB)
10.Karamon * This is Karamon, the gate used by messengers of the emperor when they go in and out. The upper part is decorated with openwork carving in floral pattern. Also notice the geometric decoration on the sand. * 2916 x 1944 * (1.46MB)
11 * This is one of the Shaka-do rooms. I was not allowed to take a photo * 2837 x 1800 * (968KB)
12.Garyuro * I believe this is the start of another wooden corridor called Garyuro, called like this because it runs along the mountain slope and it resembles the shape of a sleeping dragon (garyu). * 2916 x 1944 * (2.27MB)
13 * This statue/altar was inside a small wooden chapel, closed and not visible to the public. The photo is taken through a hole in the grid-like door. * 1679 x 1924 * (942KB)
14.Rain * 1944 x 2916 * (2.05MB)
15.Amida-do * Amida-do is where the statue of Amida looking back is enshrined, moved here from Osaka in 1607. The Looking-back Amida may be prayed from either sides. On the ceilings, hundreds of flowers are depicted.
The Amida-do was built 400 years ago. In september 2006 a restoration work started, and apparently it finished on October 24, 2007 - few days before I was there... lucky me this time.
 * 2916 x 1944 * (2.63MB)
16.Amida-do * The brief history of Amida looking back statue
First of all: who is Amida?
Amida Butsu is the japanese name for Amitabha, the principal buddha or the Buddha of Everlasting Light in the Pure Land Buddhism sect, who possesses infinite merits resulting from good deeds over countless past lives. He was a previous incarnation of the Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. 
in 11th century, an Eikando priest called Yokan was famous for his virtue and aid to the poor. He believed the teachings of Amida and devoted himself to helping the poor. 
In the early morning on Feb. 15, 1082, Yokan was walking around the altar praising Nembutsu (Namu Amida Butsu). All of a sudden, the Amida came down the altar and began to lead Yokan. Yokan was stunned and stopped walking, then the Amida looked back over the left shoulder and said Yokan, you are slow. 
Yokan awoke and was deeply impressed the merciful pose of the Amida. He pleaded with the Amida to keep the pose forever. Since then, the Amida has been keeping the pose of Mikaeri (Looking back). The pose is a symbol of the Amida's mercy to lead people and wait for people who are late in coming to the faith.
Unfortunately it was not possible to photograph the looking back statue of Amida inside... * 2916 x 1944 * (2.71MB)
17.Amida-do * ... but at least I photographed the altar!
 * 2844 x 1895 * (1.43MB)
18.Bell * 2916 x 1944 * (1.39MB)
19.Amida-do * 2592 x 3888 * (3.85MB)
20.Amida-do * This and other photos represent what I really liked in the Eikando Zenrin-ji temple, that is how beautifully it is integrated into the peaceful natural environment around, in a perfect balance with almost no separation lines. Here it really feels like ancient japan time, and I think this is my favourite temple so far. * 1944 x 2916 * (2.19MB)
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