Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple

On our last day in Japan we were in the city of Narita, which is located about an hour and a half west of Tokyo by train. Our flight from Narita Airport back to SFO wasn’t until late in the evening. So, we decided to check out the Naritasan Shinsho-Ji Buddhist temple, monastery and library complex during the day. We were totally unprepared for the amazing structures, grounds and experience of this busy religious site! We even stumbled upon a public prayer with resident monks providing burnt prayer offerings and blessings of personal items for the congregation! Unfortunately, we could not photograph or film anything inside the temples. But, if you think the exterior is impressive, it’s nothing compared to the spectacular colors, artistry, craftsmanship, detail and spirituality of the interiors! Not to mention the mesmerizing chants of the monks during prayer!

The main Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple was built on a hillside in the year 940 around a sacred object – a statue of the Buddhist deity, Fudo Myoo. The statue was said to have been carved by the famous monk, Kobo Daishi, who founded the Shingon Sect of Buddhism. Fudo Myoo is one of the five lords of light and guards the Law of Buddhism, driving away evil with a rather threatening appearance. He is often symbolized by a sword, which is a repeating image seen around the temple complex.

6 Replies to “Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple”

  1. The Japanese architecture and artistry especially with regard to the temples is very impressive. The overhangs of the temple roofs seem like they might be close to 30’ maybe more; it’s quite a feat to build something so structurally sound to overcome the many earthquakes and winds and yet still be so visually appealing. Beyond that their society seemed to excel in harmonious beauty in both the buildings and their gardens to name a few.

      1. What spectacular shots!! The brilliant blue sky and changing foliage only increased the harmony between nature and structure. EVERYWHERE YOU LOOKED!!

        Thanks again for sharing these. 🤩

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