During my most recent lap through Japan, I had the opportunity to spend a day at Nagano’s mystical buddhist Zenkoji Temple. I’m blaming my lack of sleep the night before for the absence of shots, but here’s a few from the time I spent there. In Nagano, I stayed at the 1166 Backpackers Hostel, which was great. 1166 Backpackers is a clean, warm, and inviting hostel, and I’d certainly reccommend anybody looking for community-oriented, affortable accomodation in Nagano stay with her.
Zenk?-ji (????) is a Buddhist temple located in Nagano, Japan. The temple was built in the 7th century. Nagano City, established in 1897, was originally a town built around the temple. Historically, Zenk?-ji is perhaps most famous for its involvement in the battles between Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen in the 16th century, when it served as one of Kenshin’s bases of operations. Currently, Zenk?-ji is one of the last few remaining pilgrimage sites in Japan.
Zenk?-ji was founded before Buddhism in Japan was split into several different sects, so it currently belongs to both the Tendai and J?dosh? schools of Buddhism, and is co-managed by twenty-five priests from the former school, and fourteen from the latter. The temple enshrines images of the Amida Buddha. According to legend, the image, having caused dispute between two clans, was dumped into a canal. It was later rescued by Yoshimitsu Honda. The temple was thus named “Zenk?,” according to the Chinese transliteration of Yoshimitsu’s name.