【Shiga】 “Tennen-ji,” A View Into Japan’s Feudal Past2016.01.29

160129★五百羅漢 天寧寺

Tennen-ji,” a Buddhist temple is build up atop of a hill that overlooks the “Hikone,” castle town. “Tennen-ji” is also called the “Hagi,” Japanese Clover temple because in autumn the flower creates a beautiful temple backstop. The temple was built in 1816 (Edo Period) by Ii Naosuke, who was a “Hikone,” feudal baron. The temple was built as a memorial, Ii Naosuke, was known for having punished a chamber maid in error, and came there afterwards to admit his errors and crimes against her and her first grandchild. The surrounding garden is a “Daimyo,” a garden (designed for a feudal lord), and it contains a memorial tower for Ii Naosuke, a feudal lord and statesman who was responsible for the first treaty of commerce with the United States and a memorial for Takano Murayama, one of Japan’s rare female spies.

Gohyakurakan,” the temples’ main hall holds a large diversity of Buddhist images, including 500 seated images, the 10 great disciples, and the16 arhats (pictures). Created during the Edo period (1603–1868) the artifacts remain in good condition. It is said, that if you wish to see deceased parents, children, or lovers, you should seclude yourself in the main hall and view the artifacts, and you will see the face of someone you are longing to see.

From Tokyo to reach Tennei ji, take the Tokaido Bullet train to Maibara and transfer to the Omi line to the Hikone station. From the station Tennei-ji is a 10-15 minutes walk. The trip will take approximately 3 hours.


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