Spend leisurely afternoon at Ishiyama-dera Temple

by Tatsuhiro

What is Ishiyama-dera Temple ?

 This temple is popular not only among pilgrims and dedicated Buddhists but also among ordinary citizens. It is well-known as the place where a 12th -century woman novelist Murasaki-shikibu worked on the manuscript of her masterpiece "Genji-monogatari (Tale of Genji)". People visit the temple to pray for the safe childbirth, peace in the family and happy marriages.

Events and enjoyments

  It is also the place where people can enjoy viewing the beautiful harvest moon known as "Ishiyama-no-syugetsu (moonlight over the temple of Ishiyama-dera) in mid-September. Not only Buddhist rituals but also jazz concerts and other festive events are held at that time. In mid-August, in addition, a magnificent fireworks show can be seen in the nearby river bank accompanied by as many as 3,000 candles lit in line in the same bank a bit away and "Bon dancing" is performed by visitors. The 900-year-old temple is the attractive place surrounded by natural beauties throughout the year: plum blossoms in winter, cherry blossoms in spring, fresh green leaves in early summer and colored leaves in the fall.

How to make a tour of the temple

  After you go through the main gate, walk to the admission-collecting booth, where you are asked to pay 500 yen. They will give you a leaflet explainig about the temple in its entirety.Then, go up the steep hill and you will reach the "Hondo" main hall, which houses the magnificent "Go-honzon-sama", or " Kannon-sama", the Goddess of mercy, which is the principal icon of the temple. There you have to pay another 300 yen, then you can step in to the sacred hall, where the huge image sits. You have to take your shoes off beforehand. Taking a photo is not allowed there. You can sit on the chair before the image and offer a prayer. Afterward, walk on the path that leads you to whatever places or buildings there are in the compound. You will never get lost, since there are signboards everywhere directing your way and the path is simple. One hour or two will be enough for the tour of the temple. 

More enjoyments 

 After getting off a private railway train at Ishiyama-dera station, walking on the sidewalk leading to the temple will be a pleasure for you: there are many trees on both sides, including cherry trees.

Tour of Ishiyama-dera Temple is here. 


09 Jul 2015

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Contact Tatsuhiro

It took me some 20 years to be qualified for this job and I feel honored for being able to help tourists from abroad understand our nation and culture. Japan is a beautiful country with a long history, tradition and rich cultural heritages, having various features in each of the four distinct seasons. Although there are now many visitors from abroad, mainly from Asian countries, they are mostly interested in shopping taking advantage of cheaper yen rather than understanding our people and culture. Kyoto and Nara are the two cities best known by foreign tourists, but not all the aspects of Japanese culture are concentrated there. If you visit the countryside other than these two cities, you will never fail to see the beautiful natural surroundings and people who will warmly welcome you. I wish to work as the bridge between Japanese people and tourists from all over the world. read more

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