Wonderful Japan – Honshu

By | Jul 21, 2017 | Views: 738

a. Intro

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor David)

Japan, called Nihon-koku in its native Japanese, literally means the ‘State of Japan’. It is an East Asian island nation in the fringes of the Pacific Ocean, right on the eastern coast of the Asian mainland and the Korean Peninsular. To the north is the Sea of Okhotsk, and to the southwest is the East China Sea and Taiwan.

Nihon is traditionally written with Chinese characters (kanji), with the word ‘ni’ literally meaning ‘the sun’ and the word ‘hon’ (sometimes read as ‘pon’) meaning ‘origin’. Hence, when placed together, ‘Nihon’ literally means ‘origin of the sun’. In direct reference to this name, Japan is often referred to by its famous epithet, ‘Land of the Rising Sun’.

Click on image to enlarge

Japan is geographically a stratovolcanic archipelago of about 6,852 islands, many of which are tiny islands. The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, which make up to 97 percent of Japan’s landmass. These four major islands are often referred to as home islands.

The island of Hokkaido is the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa is the southernmost. Japan’s population has 127 million people, which is the 11th largest in the world. Ethnically Japanese people make up 98.5 percent of the population, and 9.1 million alone live in Tokyo city, the capital of the nation.

 

Brief History

Japan’s geographical location on the outermost region of Asia has had a profound impact on its history. The country is close enough to the Asian mainland to maintain contact, yet far enough to be independent. Hence, much of Japanese history has been oscillating between openness and closure to the outside world. It is only until recently that Japan has accepted foreign cultural influences in burst and spurts.

Semi-mythical Emperor Jimmu was the progenitor of the Japanese imperial lineage during the 7th Century BCE

Semi-mythical Emperor Jimmu was the progenitor of the Japanese imperial lineage during the 7th Century BCE

The earliest records of Japan date back to the 5th century BCE but archaeological discoveries indicate that the earliest settlement extend even further back to 50,000 years ago. According to Japanese records, the semi-mythical Emperor Jimmu ascended the throne in the 7th century BCE, and started an imperial lineage that extends to this day. Archaeological findings trace the imperial line down to the Kofun Period of the 3rd to 7 centuries CE, which was also the period when the Japanese had its first contact with China and Korea. Later on during the Asuka period, Japan became an increasingly centralised state, and many aspects of Chinese civilisation were absorbed including, Mahayana Buddhism and Confucianism.

The first Japanese state was established with its capital at Nara, a city that was modeled after the Chinese capital of Chang’an. Historians have since called this period the Nara Period and it was during this time that the emperor actually held absolute political power. However, political power was wrested away and fell into the hands of court nobles during the Heian Period, which saw the capital being moved to Kyoto, which was known as Heian-Kyo. The imperial residence was established there and would remain right up to the 19th century. Chinese influence on Japan reached its zenith during the early Heian Period that saw Buddhism becoming widely accepted by the masses.

Heian period royal attire

Heian period royal attire

Then came the Kamakura period, when the samurai gained political power, with Minamoto no Yoritomo as their leader and called Shogun by the emperor. The shogun ruled from his base at Kamakura until the subsequent period, the Muromachi period, which saw the rise of the Ashikaga shogunate that ruled from their base at Ashikaga. Then, in the 15th century, Japan descended into the anarchy of the Warring States period that ended with the unification of Japan by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1600, and founded the Tokugawa shogunate, the feudal state ruled from Edo that is known today as Tokyo. This period is dubbed the Edo Period, characterised by a strict caste system with the samurai sitting on top of the social classes, and social mobility outlawed.

During the Edo Period, the Tokugawa shogunate established stability throughout the country, but their total isolation from the rest of the world engendered stagnation. The Americans pried open the old closed-door policy when US Commodore Matthew Perry’s Black Ships sailed into Yokohama in 1854 and forced the Japanese to sign an unequal treaty. The led to the fall of the shogunate and rise of the Meiji Restoration of 1867, when the imperial capital was moved from Kyoto to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo.

Meiji period woodblock print art of Sino-japanese war of 1894

Meiji period woodblock print art of Sino-japanese war of 1894

The Japanese keenly observed the Western colonisation of Southeast Asia, and the weakening and division of China by western powers, which Japan had long considered to be the world’s largest superpower. Hence, Japan launched itself into an industrialisation plan to modernise at a frantic pace. Japan adopted modern Western technologies and culture at frenetic pace, transforming Japanese cities with railway networks, brick buildings and factories. Even the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 that leveled much of Tokyo and killed 100,000 people did not transform the Japanese landscape as much.

In an effort to fuel its industrialisation, resource-poor Japan had to look elsewhere for the supplies that it needed. This resulted in a drive to colonise its neighbors, which led to various military campaigns such as the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, in which Japan occupied Taiwan, Korea and parts of Manchuria. Then came the 1904-5 Russo-Japanese war that Japan won, which emboldened and cemented Japan as a military power.

With a totalitarian government, Japan launched a military campaign to invade China via Manchuria in 1931. By 1941, the Japanese military campaigns expanded the borders to include an empire that stretched much of Asia and the Pacific. Then in 1941, Japan attacked the US military base at Pearl Harbor and destroyed much of the US Pacific fleet. This brought America into World War II, and the tide soon turned against Japan. The nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced Japan to surrender, and soon after, Japan was occupied for the first time in its history. The Emperor maintained his throne, but lost his absolute power in the imposed constitution by the Americans. Military conquest had to give way to pacifism with the US taking care of defense; Japan now redirected its energies into the development of consumer technologies and emerged from its postwar poverty to conquer the world once more, this time with the latest cars and consumer electronics, thus attaining the second-largest gross national product in the world.

Post-war Japan emerged as a economic superpower with consumer electronics and cars

Post-war Japan emerged as a economic superpower with consumer electronics and cars

But the frenzied growth could not last forever, after the Nikkei stock index hit the stratospheric heights of 39,000 in 1989, the bubble burst. The 1990s saw the real estate bubble burst, the stock market was halved and there was the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 that flattened great sections of Kobe and killed over 6,000 people. The Japanese economic recession has yet to fully recover, and this has resulted in an increasing polarisation of Japanese society into ‘haves’ with permanent jobs and ‘have-nots’, known as freeters, who drift between temporary jobs. On a larger scale, this cost Japan its position as the world’s second largest economy to the larger emerging economic superpower China. Nevertheless, Japanese continue to have one of the highest standards of living in the world.

 

Japanese Climate

c. Japanese Climate

Japan’s weather is largely temperate, but it defers greatly between north and south. Due to Japan’s vast landmass, the nation is divided into six principal climatic zones of Hokkaido, the Sea of Japan, the Central Highland, the Seto Inland Sea, the Pacific Ocean, and the Ryukyu Islands.

Hokkaido in the north has humid continental weather that has extended cold winters and a range of cool to hot summers. Generally, there is not much precipitation, but the island has heavy snowfall during winter. Along the west coast of Honshu that faces the Sea of Japan, northwestern winter winds deliver heavy snowfall to the region. The summers are cooler than the eastern part of Honshu that faces the Pacific but some summer days may be blazingly hot due to heated winds (foehn) from the mountains.

The Central Highland of Honshu has the usual humid continental weather, with huge differences between summer and winter temperatures, and sometimes a huge variation within the same day. There is light precipitation, but winters are usually with some snowfall. The mountains of the Chūgoku and Shikoku regions shelter the Seto Inland Sea from seasonal winds, resulting in relatively pleasant weather all year-round.

The Pacific coast of Honshu has a humid subtropical climate and relatively mild winters with light snowfall, but the summers are hot and humid because of the southeast seasonal wind. The Ryukyu Islands also have a subtropical weather that brings warm winters and hot summers. Precipitation on the island is very heavy during the rainy season.

Winter in Japan has an average temperature of 5.1 °C or 41.2 °F, and summer temperatures average at 25.2 °C or 77.4 °F. The monsoon rainy season begins in early May at Okinawa, and the monsoon winds gradually push the rain up north until it finally reaches Hokkaido in late July. In most of Honshu Island, the monsoon rainy season begins around the middle of June and usually lasts for about six weeks thereafter. However, in late summer and early autumn, typhoons can deliver heavy downpours in the wake of strong winds.

 

Japanese Language

d. Japanese Language

The greater majority (about 99%) of the population speaks Japanese as their first language. The Japanese language is agglutinative in nature, and it is structured by honorifics that reflect traditional Japanese society that is strictly based on social hierarchy. Hence, the language is full of verbs and sets of vocabulary that indicate the status of both the speaker in relation to the listener. Written Japanese uses ‘kanji’, which are Chinese characters, and two sets of ‘kana’ or syllabary characters that are based on cursive script and modified kanji, along with the Latin alphabet and Arabic numerals.

Aside from Japanese, there are a number of smaller indigenous languages like the Ryukyuan languages of Amami, Kunigami, Okinawan, Miyako, Yaeyama and Yonaguni. These languages form a part of the larger Japonic language family that are mainly spoken in the Ryukyu Island chain. However, very few Japanese are actually able to converse in these indigenous languages, but local governments have sought to increase the usage of these traditional languages in recent years.

For instance, the Ainu language, which has no relationship to Japanese or any other language of the region, is in danger of becoming extinct with only a handful of elderly native speakers remaining in Hokkaido. In public and private schools in Japan require students to take Japanese language classes as well as English language courses.

 

Japanese Cuisine

A Kaiseki spread of delicately prepared dishes

A Kaiseki spread of delicately prepared dishes

Japanese cuisine is world famous for its distinctive presentation, taste, and method of cooking. It generally can be boiled down to the combination of staple foods, such as Japanese rice or noodles, with soup and okazu. Okazu are dishes made with fish, vegetables, tofu, and other ingredients in order to provide flavour to the staple dish. These days, ingredients such as red meats that were not previously widely available in Japan are now commonly used.

Cold Soba Noodles

Cold Soba Noodles

Generally, Japanese cuisine emphasises seasonal food, fresh ingredients, and its presentation. In addition, Japanese cuisine also has large selection of regional specialties that use traditional recipes from a particular region, and local ingredients. The phrase ichijū-sansai or ‘one soup, three sides” refers to the serving of a typical meal that has roots in classic kaiseki, honzen, and yushoku cuisines.

Honzen is a formal banquet style of presenting food to guests in the samurai homes of the feudal Muromachi Period

Honzen is a formal banquet style of presenting food to guests in the samurai homes of the feudal Muromachi Period

Japanese dessert sweets are known as wagashi, which use traditional ingredients such as red bean paste and mochi, or rice cakes. These days, green tea is a very popular flavour in many desserts, even in ice cream. Another type of Japanese dessert is kakigori, a traditional shaved ice dessert that is flavored with syrup and condensed milk, and is a popular at summer festivals in Japan.

Japanese sushi

Japanese sushi

One of the most popular Japanese beverages is sake, which is a brewed rice wine that usually has a 15% to 17% alcohol content, and is made with multiple fermentations of rice. Another popular Japanese beverage is beer, which is produced in specific regions, such as the Sapporo Brewery, a historic beer company. Finally, Japan is unique because The Michelin Guide has awarded more restaurants in Japan with Michelin stars than the rest of the world combined. This shows how the Japanese pride themselves in serving only the best.

Ramen noodles

Ramen noodles

Tempura Vegetables

Tempura Vegetables

Udon Noodles

Udon Noodles

 

A traditional Geisha entertainer

A traditional Geisha entertainer

Japanese Culture

Japan has a very distinct traditional culture that was initially heavily influenced by China and Korea, but has evolved over time. These days, contemporary Japanese pop culture, like many other cultures around the world, combines various influences from all over Asia, Europe and North America.

Traditional Japanese arts are broken down into many fields. There are crafts, such as ceramics, woven textiles, lacquerware, swords and dolls. In performances, there are bunraku puppet theatre, kabuki dances and drama, noh classical theatre, traditional regional dances, and rakugo storytelling traditions. There also other renowned Japanese traditions like the tea ceremony, ikebana, martial arts, calligraphy, origami, onsen, Geisha, and games.

Bunraku Puppet Theatre

Bunraku Puppet Theatre

The Japanese government has a developed a system for the protection and promotion of both tangible and intangible Cultural Properties and National Treasures of Japan. In fact, nineteen sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, fifteen of which are of cultural significance.

Ikebana art of flower arrangement

Ikebana art of flower arrangement

Kabuki Theatre

Kabuki Theatre

Noh Theatre

Noh Theatre

 

The Island of Honshu

Island of Honshu

‘Honshu’ literally means ‘main province’, and it is the largest and most populated island in Japan. The island is a long strip of land located north of Shikoku from across the Inland Sea, south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Straits. The island is what separates the Sea of Japan in the north and west from the North Pacific Ocean to the south and east. In terms of landmass, it is the seventh-largest island in the world, and the second largest in terms of population after the Indonesian island of Java.

Honshu’s population is 103 million as of 2005, with most of the population residing in the coastal areas, especially in the Kanto plain, where a quarter of the entire Japanese population currently resides within the Greater Tokyo Area. This city is the capital, and is the center of Japanese culture and political power since the capital was moved there. Honshu island has several historic Japanese capitals of the past, including Kyoto, Nara, and Kamakura. In addition, most of the island’s southern cities along the shore form part of Taiheiyō Belt, a megalopolis that spans several of the Japanese islands as well.

Furthermore, most of Japan’s industrial areas are located along the Taiheiyō belt that runs along Honshu’s southern coast, from Tokyo to Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya,
Kobe, and Hiroshima. The industries along the northwestern coastline, on the other hand, are mainly agriculture and fishing. Honshu is linked to the other three major Japanese islands by a system of highways, bridges and tunnels.

 

Japanese Visas

Visa-Free

Countries that are allowed visa-free visits for up to 90 days are: EU & EEA member states, Australia, Andorra, Argentina, Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Hong Kong, Honduras, Macau, Macedonia, Mauritius, Monaco, Mexico, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, San Marino, Switzerland, Suriname, Tunisia, Uruguay and United States/American Samoa.

  • Brunei – visa-free visits for up to 15 days.
  • United Kingdom, Austria, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein can apply for 6-month extended stay visas with Japan’s Ministry of Justice.
  • Malaysia, Barbados, Serbia, Lesotho, and Turkey are allowed to visit visa-free for up to 90 days, provided they have a biometric passport. For Thailand, it is only 15 days.
  • Taiwan is allowed to visit visa-free for 90 days, provided that the passport has a personal identification number.
  • Indonesian citizens with a biometric passport who have been issued a Visa Waiver Registration Certificate are allowed to visit visa-free for up to 15 days.
  • Chinese citizens who are travelling via cruise ships do not need a visa. However, they must leave on the same cruise ship in order for them to be qualified for this.
  • All other nationalities are required to obtain a “temporary visitor” visa prior to arrival. The temporary visitor visa is valid for 90 days. You can visit The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to get more information on visas.
  • If you are just transiting between international flights at the airport, no visa is required as long as you stay within the secured designated area.

 

20 Interesting Places on Honshu Island

 

1. Mount Fuji, Fujinomiya

1. Mount Fuji - 1

Japan has many unique iconic places and Mt Fuji, rising 3,776 meters above sea level, is one of them. Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan, and is an active volcano that last erupted in 1707–08. Mount Fuji lies about 100 kilometers or 60 miles southwest of Tokyo, and can be seen from the capital city on a clear day. Appreciation and admiration of this mountain has appeared in early Japanese recorded history from the 8th century. In those days, the volcano was said to spew smoke and thus inspired reverence. In 2013, Mt Fuji was granted World Heritage status, and over 300,000 people have climbed to its summit.

1. Mount-Fuji - 2

The Japanese have a proverb that goes: ‘He who climbs Mt Fuji once is a wise man, he who climbs it twice is a fool’, which seems to have a valid point. Reaching the summit of the mountain is quite a feat and would probably give you a sense of achievement, but be aware that it’s a tough climb that is fraught with danger, and the way up is not particularly scenic. Naturally, climbing season means that climbing routes are packed, and the barren landscape of the mountainside that climbers experience is a far cry from the beauty of the mountain when viewed from afar. The summit crater has a circumference of 4km but a cloud usually covers it.

Climbers ascending Mount Fuji

Climbers ascending Mount Fuji

 

How to get there

While in season (July to September), visitors can take the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal to the 5th Station along the Fuji Subaru Line. This station is the starting point for the popular summer hike that follows the Yoshida Trail. Bus tickets cost 2,700 yen each way, and the trip takes about 2.5 hours. Out of season, a bus ticket from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko Station or Fuji-Q Highland (theme park) costs about 1,750 yen (one way), and the journey takes 1 hour and 45 minutes on average.

On the other hand, visitor can take the train from Tokyo to Mount Fuji that is a little more expensive than a bus:

  • JR Limited Express train (Azusa or Kaiji) from Shinjuku Station to Otsuki, then transfer to the Fujikyuko Railway for Kawaguchiko. The journey takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes, and costs between 3,290 to 3,910 yen each way. Prices depend on whether you transfer in Tachikawa station, and whether it is the weekend or weekday.
  • The JR Chuo Special Rapid Service follows the same route, but takes 10-20 minutes longer, but costs only 2,460 yen each way.

Climbing Season: Early July to mid September
Entrance fee: 1,000 Yen during climbing season (July to September)

 

Accommodation

1. Hotel Mount Fuji
Address: Japan, 〒401-0501 Yamanashi Prefecture, Minamitsuru District, Yamanakako, Yamanaka, 1360-83
Phone: +81 555-62-2111

2. Backpackers Hostel K’s House Mt. Fuji
Address: 401-0301 Yamanashi, Fujikawaguchiko, Funatsu 6713-108
Phone: +81 555-83-5556

3. Fuji View Hotel Fujiya Hotel Kawaguchiko Annex
Address: 511 Katsuyama, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0310
Phone: +81-555-83-2211

 

2. Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo

The grand entrance to Senso-ji temple where the gods of wind and thunder stand guard.

The grand entrance to Senso-ji temple where the gods of wind and thunder stand guard.

Senso-ji is Tokyo’s most visited temple and it enshrines a golden image of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. According to legend, two fishermen pulled this statue out of the nearby Sumida-gawa River in AD 628. No matter how many times they returned it to the river, the statue kept miraculously reappearing. The image is enshrined but is never on public display. The present building structure dates back to 1958. The grand entrance to the temple complex is via the fantastic, red Kaminari-mon, or Thunder Gate that overlooks the busy shopping street of Nakamise-dōri.

Upon passing through the gates, the statues of the fearsome Fūjin – the god of wind, and Raijin – the god of thunder, are enshrined as guardians. An intricately carved dragon can be seen from under the giant red lantern at the entrance. Street stalls line Nakamise-dōri just outside the temple entrance, and sell everything from genuine Edo period handicrafts to tourist trinkets. At the end of Nakamise-dōri is the temple entrance itself, while to your left you can spot the 55m-high Five-Storey Pagoda. This pagoda is a 1973 reconstruction of a pagoda originally built by Tokugawa Iemitsu.

To the left of the entrance is the 5-storeyed pagoda, which was originally built by Tokugawa Iemitsu and reconstructed in 1973.

To the left of the entrance is the 5-storeyed pagoda, which was originally built by Tokugawa Iemitsu and reconstructed in 1973.

It is a mystery as to whether the ancient image of Kannon of Senso-ji actually exists or if it is a myth, because it is not on public display. However, this does nothing to stop a stream of worshippers and tourists from visiting the temple. There is a large incense cauldron in front of the temple, and the incense smoke is said to be healing, and so people rub it into their bodies through their clothes.

On the eastern corner of the temple complex stands the Asakusa-jinja shrine that commemorates the brothers who discovered the Kannon statue and also inspired the construction of Sensō-ji. Historically in Japan, Buddhism and Shintoism are interconnected, and it is not unusual to have both shrines co-exist in temples. The current deep red shrine was built in 1649, which is a rare early Edo period architecture. This temple is the epicenter of Sanja Matsuri, one of Tokyo’s most important festivals in the month of May. Due to its popularity, the entire temple complex is always crowded particularly on weekends. It is also a good idea to visit at night as the buildings are beautifully illuminated and there are fewer people.

The main shrine within Senso-ji temple

The main shrine within Senso-ji temple

 

How to get there

Senso-ji Temple is not far from Asakusa Station, which is served by the Ginza Subway Line, Asakusa Subway Line and Tobu Railways.

From Tokyo Station, take the JR Yamanote Line to Kanda Station (2 minutes, 140 yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 170 yen).

From Shinjuku Station, take the orange JR Chuo Line to Kanda Station (10 minutes, 170 yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 170 yen).

Address: Japan, 111-0032 Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa, 2 Chome – 3-1
Opening hours: 06:00 to 17:00 (from 6:30 from October to March) for the main hall
Entrance fee: None

 

Accommodation

1. Super Hotel Asakusa
Address: 2-33-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
Phone: +81 3-5806-9000

2. Richmond Hotel Asakusa
Address: 2-7-10 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
Phone: +81-3-5806-0255

3. Asakusa View Hotel
Address: 3-17-1 Nishiasakusa Taito Tokyo-to 111-8765
Phone: +81 3-3847-1111

 

3. Shinjuku-Gyoen, Tokyo

3. Shinjuku-gyoen - 1

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a large garden and park that stretches between Shinjuku and Shibuya wards of Tokyo city.

The compound was originally the residence of the Naitō family during the Edo period. The shogun had bestowed this piece of land to Lord Naitō (daimyo) of Tsuruga, who converted the forests into a garden in 1772. Since then, the Daimyo’s home and gardens have been converted into an agricultural center after the Meiji Restoration era. After that, it was converted into a botanical garden, before it finally became an imperial garden in 1879. In 1906, the current garden landscape was completed. Most of the garden was destroyed by air raids during the later stages of World War II in 1945, but was rebuilt to its former glory after the war.

Visitors admiring cherry blossom trees in full bloom

Visitors admiring cherry blossom trees in full bloom

After the war in 1947, the management of the park, known at the time as the Imperial Palace Outer Garden and Kyoto Imperial Garden, was transferred to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, which is now a part of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

On May 21, 1949, the garden was officially opened to the public as ‘The National Park Shinjuku Imperial Gardens’. Then in January 2001, the park came under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Environment, and was renamed ‘The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden’. In 1989, Shinjuku Gyoen was selected as the site for the funeral rites of Emperor Shōwa before his remains were interred at the Musashi Imperial Graveyard.

 

How to get there

Shinjuku Gyoen can be access via three gates:

  • Shinjuku Gate is a ten-minute walk eastwards from the ‘New South Exit’ of JR Shinjuku Station, or a five-minute walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line.
  • Okido Gate is also a five-minute walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line.
  • Finally, Sendagaya Gate is a five-minute walk from JR Sendagaya Station on the local Chuo/Sobu Line.

Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0014
Phone: +81 3-3350-0151
Opening Hours: 09:00 to 16:30 (last entry at 16:00); Closed on Mondays, and from December 29 to January 3. There are no closing days during the cherry blossom season (late March to late April) and the Chrysanthemum Exhibition (first half of November).
Entrance Fee: 200 Yen

 

Accommodation

1. PA Hotel Shinjuku-gyoen-mae
Address: 2-2-8 Shinjuku, Shinjuku 160-0022, Tokyo Prefecture
Phone: +81 3-5369-3622

2. Hotel Tateshina
Address: 5-8-6 Shinjuku, Shinkuku 160-0022, Tokyo Prefecture
Phone: +81 3-3350-5271

3. Tokyu Stay Shinjuku
Address: 160-0022 Tokyo Prefecture, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-7-1
Phone: +81 3-3353-0109

 

4. Harajuku, Tokyo

Takeshita Street Entrance is rigth at the heart of Harajuku District

Takeshita Street Entrance is rigth at the heart of Harajuku District

Harajuku is the general name given to an area that begins at Harajuku Station all the way up to Omotesando within the Shibuya ward. This area also includes a network of smaller backstreets, such as Takeshita Street and Cat Street, which spread out between the Shibuya ward in the south to the Sendagaya ward in the north.

Harajuku is internationally renowned as the epicenter of Japanese youth, pop culture and fashion. The area is famous for the vast amounts of small, Japanese youth-oriented, independent boutiques and cafés. The neighborhood also has a large array of international chains that feature high-end luxury stores along Omotesando.

Little shops that cater to Japanese youth fashion

Little shops that cater to Japanese youth fashion

The Harajuku subway station is along the JR East Yamanote Line, the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, and the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line. This station is also the gateway to other local attractions, such as the Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park, and Yoyogi National Gymnasium. The easy subway access allows Harajuku and the neighboring areas to be some of the most popular destinations in Tokyo city amongst local Japanese and foreign International tourists.

 Japanase youth in colorful Harajuku fashion

Japanase youth in colorful Harajuku fashion

 

How to get there

An option by train is via JR Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line is the obvious way to get to Harajuku. The station sits conveniently next to both the entrance to Meiji Jingu and Omote-Sando. Alternatively, Harajuku can be reached within a 25-minute walk from Shinjuku or 15-minute walk from Shibuya.

 

Accommodation

1. Tokyu Stay Aoyama Premier Hotel
Address: 107-0062 Tokyo Prefecture, Minato-ku, Minamiaoyama 2-27-18
Phone: +81 3-3497-0109

2. Dormy Inn PREMIUM Shibuya Jingūmae
Address: 6 Chome− 2 4-4, Shibuya Jingumae, 150-0001 Tokyo
Phone: +81 3-5774-5489

3. Sakura Fleur Aoyama
Address: 150-0002 Tokyo Prefecture, Shibuya-ku, Shibuya 2-14-15, Japan
Phone: 03-5467-3777 (local)

 

5. Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo

The main entrance to the Imperial palace

The main entrance to the Imperial palace

The current Imperial Palace or Kokyo lies on the former site of the old Edo
Castle. The palace has a large park surrounded by a moat and massive stone walls, and the entire complex is right in the heart of Tokyo, which is just a short walk from Tokyo Station. The palace is still being used as the official residence of Japan’s Imperial Family.

The original Edo Castle was the seat of the Tokugawa shogun that ruled Japan from 1603 until 1867. Then in 1868, the shogunate was toppled, and the imperial palace and capital in Kyoto was re-established in Tokyo. In 1888, a new imperial palace was built in Tokyo over the site of the old Edo castle. This old palace was destroyed in World War II, but was rebuilt.

5. Tokyo Imperial Palace - 2

Visitors to the palace grounds can view the Nijubashi, the two stone bridges that lead to the main entrance of the inner palace grounds from Kokyo Gaien, the main plaza in front of the imperial palace. The stone bridge is called the Meganebashi or Eyeglass Bridge because of its appearance. The bridge in the back used to be a wooden bridge that had two levels, which is why it is called Nijubashi or Double Bridge.

A favorite attraction among tourists is the garden’s seasonal flowers, such as azaleas and hydrangeas grown on the palace grounds. At the Sannomaru-Shozo-kan, or Museum of the Imperial Collections, Emperor Hirohito’s art collection are exhibited alongside exquisite imperial kimonos and Japanese paintings. In the Kita-no-maru-koen Park on the north side of the palace is the Nippon Budo-kan, a famous venue for concerts by foreign artists, the Science Museum, and the National Museum of Modern Art.

The moat near the park is called Chidori-ga-fuchi, and is a famous spot. In the beginning of April, the entire place is filled with people enjoying the view of cherry blossoms. The National Theater is within easy walking distance from Chidori-ga-fuchi, and is the venue of Japanese classical performing arts such as Kabuki, Noh plays, and Kyogen, traditional short comedies.

5. Tokyo Imperail Palace - 3

 

How to get there

The Otemon entrance to the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace is a short walk from Otemachi Station that accessed via Chiyoda, Tozai, Marunouchi, Hanzomon and Mita Subway Lines. The palace can also be reached with a mere 10-15 minute walk from the main Tokyo Station.

Address: Chiyoda, 1-1, 100-8111 Tokyo
Hours: 09:00–17:00 daily. Closed on Mondays.
Phone: +81 3-3213-1111

 

Accommodation

1. Imperial Hotel, Tokyo
Address: 1 Chome− 1-1, Chiyoda, Uchisaiwaicho, 100-8558 Tokyo
Phone: +81 3-3504-1111

2. Hotel Monterey Hanzomon
Address: 2 3-1, Chiyoda, Ichibancho, 102-0082 Tokyo
Phone: +81 3-3556-7111

3. Sakura Hotel Jimbocho
Address: 2 Chome− 2 1-4, Chiyoda, Kanda Jinbocho, 101-0051 Tokyo
Phone: +81 3-3261-3939

 

6. Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo

6. Tokyo National Museum -1

Tokyo National Museum is the best museum to visit for those who have time to spare. In here, you will find the largest collection of Japanese art on display, including ancient pottery, Buddhist images, samurai armour and swords, ukiyo-e woodblock prints, kimonos and more. The museum is huge, and if you only have a few hours to spare, then you should visit the Honkan or Japanese Gallery, and the Gallery of Hōryū-ji Treasures, which displays masks, scrolls and gilt Buddhas from Hōryū-ji of Nara Prefecture that dates back to 607 CE.

Standing Senju Kannon Bosatsu (Thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva), dated around 1251 CE, Tokyo National Museum

Standing Senju Kannon Bosatsu (Thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva), dated around 1251 CE, Tokyo National Museum

If you can spend the rest of the day, you should explore the three-storied Tōyōkan or the Gallery of Asian Art. This is where an extensive collection of Buddhist statues from across Asia stand alongside delicate Chinese ceramics. The Heiseikan is the Japanese Archaeological Gallery, which has an exhibition of pottery, talismans, and daily utensils from Japan’s prehistoric period, which is accessible via a passage on the 1st floor of the Honkan.

In the gardens, there are several vintage teahouses that are usually opened to the public from mid-March to mid-April, and from late October to early December. On the other hand, the museum regularly hosts temporary and exciting exhibitions.

Ancient samurai armour amongst the many exhibits from feudal Japan

Ancient samurai armour amongst the many exhibits from feudal Japan

 

How to get there

The museum can be reached via the JR Line, which is just 10 minutes from Ueno or Uguisudani Station. On the Ginza or Hibiya Tokyo Metro Line, it is just 15 minutes from Ueno Station. On the Chiyoda Tokyo Metro Line, it is 15 minutes from Nezu Station. On the Keisei Line, it is 15 minutes from Keisei Ueno Station.

Address: 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-8712, Japan
Phone: (03)5777-8600 (local) / +81-(3)-5777-8600 (international calls)
Opening hours: 09:30 – 17:00 (last admission at 16:30)
Entrance Free: Adults 620 yen / University Students: 410 yen

 

Accommodation

1. Candeo Hotels Ueno Koen
Address: 1 Chome-2-13 Negishi, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 110-0003, Japan
Phone: +81 3-5808-6100

2. Hotel Mystays Ueno East
Address: Japan, 110-0015 Tokyo, Taito, Higashiueno, 5 Chome-5-6
Phone: +81 3-5806-2420

3. Red Planet Hotels Asakusa, Tokyo
Address: 1-11-6 Asakusa, Taito-ku Tokyo, Tokyo, 111-0032, Japan
Phone: +81 3-5828-0177

 

7. Kabuki-za, Tokyo

7. Kabukiza - 1

This theatre is an old institution with an elaborate Japanese façade that gives a strong first impression. The main structure was completely rebuilt in 2013 to include a tower block. The striking façade gives an appropriate introduction to the dramatic tradition of kabuki plays. Performance details and booking of tickets are available on its website.

7. Kabukiza - 2

A traditional kabuki performance consists of three or four acts that are usually taken from different plays over an afternoon or an evening, which is typically from 11am to 3.30pm, or 4.30pm to 9pm, and they are usually with long intervals between the acts. A headset is available for rent at 500 yen for explanations in English. It would be good to pack a bentō box meal to snack on during intervals.

Since four-hour plays may be too long for most people, there is the option of 90 seats and 60 standing tickets that are sold on the day for single acts. But expect to be at the back of the auditorium that still has an excellent view of the stage. Some acts are more popular than others, so do some research beforehand and arrive at least an hour and a half before the performance.

7. Kabukiza - 3

 

How to get there

By train, take the Hibiya Line or Asakusa Line to the Higashi Ginza Station. Take Exit 3, which has direct access to the theatre from the subway station. On the Ginza Line, Marunouchi Line, or Hibiya Line, stop at Ginza Station. Take exit A6, and Kabuki-za is just a 5-minute walk away. On the JR and SUBWAY, stop at Tokyo Station. It is a 10-minute taxi-ride away.

Address: Ginza 4-12-15, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Phone: +81 (0)3-3545-6800
Website & e-ticket sales: https://www.kabukiweb.net/theatres/kabukiza/
Ticket sales: 4,000 to 22,000 yen, depending on the seating

 

Accommodation

1. The Prime Pod Ginza Tokyo
Address: Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061 Ginza 5 Chome -13
Phone: +81 3-5550-0147

2. Tokyu Stay Ginza
Address: Japan, 104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo, Ginza, 4 Chome- 10-5
Phone: +81 3-3541-0109

3. Millennium mitsui garden hotel
Address: Japan, 104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo, Ginza, 5 Chome- 11-1
Phone: +81 3-3549-3331

 

8. Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto

8. Kinkakuji - 1

This is Kyoto’s most famous Kinkaku-ji or the ‘Golden Pavilion’, which is also one of Japan’s most iconic temples. The outer walls of the main prayer hall are layered in bright gold leaf, and this creates a truly spectacular sight above the placid pond. This temple is packed all year round because of its popularity, so it would be best to go early in the morning, or just before closing on a weekday to avoid the throngs of tourists.

8. Kinkakuji - 2

The original structure of the temple was built in 1397, initially as a retirement villa for the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. Later, his son converted it into a temple. In 1950, a young monk acted out his obsession with the temple by razing it to the ground. The story of this monk was incorporated into Mishima Yukio’s novel The Golden Pavilion. In 1955, the temple was reconstructed following the original plans, with additional gold-foil extended to cover the lower floor.

8. Kinkakuji - 3

 

How to get there

The temple can reached via bus #101 or #205 from Kyoto station in about 40 minutes, for tickets starting at 230 yen. The fastest route to the temple is via Karasuma line train to Kitaoji, a 13-minute train ride for 260 yen. Then take bus #101, 102, 204, or 205 to Kinkaku-ji, which is 10 minutes away for 230 yen.

Address: 603-8361 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Kita Ward, Kinkakujicho, 1
Phone: +81 75-461-0013
Opening hours: 09:00 – 17:00 daily
Entrance fee: 400 Yen (adult) / 300 Yen (junior high and elementary school students)

 

Accommodation

1. Coto Kyoto Kinkakuji
Address: 603-83038-46, Murasakino Junibocho, Kita Ward, Kyoto
Phone: +81 3-6427-2960

2. Hananobou Kinkakuji-michi
Address: 603-8305 Kyoto, Kita-ku Murasakino Minamihananobocho 41-3
Phone: +81 75-468-1028

3. Your Pavilion near Kinkakuji
Address: 603-8206 Kyoto Prefecture, Kita Ward, Shichiku Seinancho, 37-13
Phone: +81 80-8866-9157

 

9. Gion District, Kyoto

9. Gion District - 1

The famous Gion District is the old entertainment quarter of Kyoto famous for their geisha. Situated on the eastern bank of the Kamo-gawa River, Gion was originally renowned for its teahouses that offered refuge to travellers and pilgrims on their journey to the nearby Yasaka-jinja shrine. However, the mid-18th century saw the transformation of the area into Kyoto’s largest entertainment district. The best way to experience Gion today is to take an evening stroll around the atmospheric streets lined with 17th century-styled restaurants and old teahouses that are lit with paper lanterns. The journey begins with a walk down the Hanami-kōji main street and into Shijō-dōri Street.

9. Gion District - 2

Towards the southern stretch of Hanami-kōji, most of the old restaurants and teahouses are exclusive establishments renowned for their geishas. Right at the southern end is the Gion Corner and the traditional Gion Kōbu Kaburen-jō Theatre. While strolling from Shijō-dōri along the northern stretch of the Hanami-kōji, a third left turn leads you to Shimbashi or Shirakawa Minami-dōri, which are widely known to be Kyoto’s most beautiful streets, especially in the evening and during the cherry-blossom season. A little up north is the Shinmonzen-dōri and Furumonzen-dōri that runs east to west. These streets are packed with quaint and old Japanese houses, art galleries and antique shops.

9. Gion District - 3

 

How to get there

The Gion district bus stop is accessed from Kyoto Station via bus #100 or #206, a 20-minute ride for 230 yen. Alternatively, the closest train stations are Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Line, and Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line.

 

Accommodation

1. Hotel Sasarindou
Address: 605-0074 Kyoto, Higashiyama-ku Gionmachi Minamigawa 570-102
Phone: +81 75-541-7177

2. Kinoe
Address: 4-44-8, Bishamoncho, Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 605-0812
Phone: +81-75-561-1230

3. APA Hotel Tokyo Gion Excellent
Address: 605-0074 Kyoto, Kyoto, Higashiyama-ku Gion Minamigawa 555
Phone: +81 75-551-2111

 

10. Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kyoto

10. Kyoto Imperial Palace - 1

The walled complex of Kyoto Imperial Palace, or Gosho in Japanese, is situated right in the middle of a landscaped compound of the Palace Park. Although it no longer serves as the official residence of the Japanese emperor, it is still elegant. Visitors to the palace can wander freely around the officially marked route where there are English signs that tell the history of the palace buildings. The entrance to the palace is through the main Seishomon Gate where a map of the palace grounds is provided.

10. Kyoto Imperial Palace - 2

The original imperial palace was constructed in 794 CE, but was rebuilt a few times after it was destroyed by fire. The present structure was rebuilt in 1885 on a different site than the former palace, and was built on a smaller scale as well. To this day, the official enthronement of a new emperor and state ceremonies are still held here, so the palace may be closed during such events. The palace grounds are covered in gravel, so it is advised to wear appropriate shoes.

10. Kyoto Imperial Palace - 3

 

How to get there

Kyoto Imperial Palace is just a short train ride from Kyoto Station along the Karasuma Subway Line and stop at Marutamachi, which is 7 minutes away at 260 yen, or at Imadegawa Station, which is a 10 minutes away at 260 yen. Imadegawa Station is closer to the entrance gate of the Imperial Palace than Marutamachi Station.

Address: 602-0881 Kyoto Prefecture, Kamigyo Ward, Kyotogyoen, 3
Phone: +81 75-211-1215
Opening hours: 09:00 – 17:00 (April to August) ; 09:00 – 16:30 (September and March) ; 09:00 – 16:00 (October to February)

 

Accommodation

1. Kyoto Brighton Hotel
Address: Nakadachiuri, Shinmachi-Dori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8071
Phone: +81 75 441 4411

2. The Palace Side Hotel
Address: 602-8011 Kyoto, Kyoto, Kamigyo-ku Karasumadori Shimodachiuri Agaru Okakuen-cho 380
Phone: +81 75-415-8887

3. Kyoto Garden Palace
Address: 602-0912 Kyoto, Kyoto, Kamigyo-ku Karasuma-dori Shimochojya-machi-agaru Tatsumae 605
Phone: +81 75-411-0111

 

11. Nijo Castle, Kyoto

11. Nijo Castle - 1

The military might of the Tokugawa shoguns is reflected in the imposing stone walls and rampart of Nijo Castle. The Nijō-jō dominates a large part of northwest Kyoto. Hidden behind stone walls, it is an elegant palace surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens. This is another tourist hotspot, so to avoid the crowds, it is advised to visit just after opening or shortly before closing hours.

11. Nijo Castle - 2

This stone castle was built in 1603 CE as the official residence of the first Tokugawa shogun, Ieyasu in Kyoto. The flamboyant architecture was intended to be a demonstration of Ieyasu’s power and prestige, but inadvertently symbolised the decline of the emperor’s power. In an attempt to avert treachery, the palace’s corridors were fitted with ‘nightingale’ floors that ‘chirped’ as people walked on them along with secret rooms that held bodyguards.

The entrance to palace grounds is through the grand Kara-mon gate as you enter Ninomaru Palace, which is a five building complex with many chambers. The Ōhiroma Yon-no-Ma, or Fourth Chamber, is particularly renowned for its stunning painted screens. When visiting the castle, the Ninomaru Palace Garden is not to be missed, as it designed by renowned landscape architect and tea master Kobori Enshū.

11. Nijo Castle - 3

 

How to get there

Nijo Castle is just a short stroll from Nijojo-mae Station, a stop along the Tozai Subway Line. From Kyoto Station, take the Karasuma Subway Line to Karasuma-Oike Station and transfer to the Tozai Line to Nijojo-mae Station. The train ride takes about 15 minutes and costs 260 yen.

On the other hand, buses numbers 9, 50 or 101 (every 15-20 minutes for 230 yen) from Kyoto city go to the castle or from Shijo-Kawaramachi by Kyoto City Bus number 12 (every 15 minutes, 230 yen one way).

Address: 604-8301 Kyoto Prefecture, Nakagyo Ward, Nijojocho, 541
Phone: +81 75-841-0096
Opening hours: 08:45 to 17:00 (last entry at 16:00); entry to Ninomaru from 09:00 to 16:00
Entrance fee: 600 Yen

 

Accommodation

1. Taberu Tomaru Nijo Castle
Address: 604-0051, 270-1 Nijoaburanokojicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto Prefecture 604-0051
Phone: +81 75-746-6208

2. Guest House Rinn Nijo Castle
Address: 604-8324 Kyoto Prefecture, Nakagyo Ward, Aneinokumacho, 324
Phone: +81 75-801-8200

3. Fukuya Stay Nijo Castle
Address: 24-21 Jurakumawarihigaisimachi, Kyoto city, 604-8404
Phone: +81 75-203-9865

 

12. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto

12. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest -1

Upon entering this green bamboo grove, one feels as if you have entered into another realm. The thick green bamboo stalks give the illusion that the forest goes on endlessly in every direction, and the light that filters through has an ethereal quality. It is hard not to take a few pictures in this fantastic location, but photos are unable to capture the mystical feeling of the place. The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove begins just outside the northern gate of the Tenryū-ji temple all the way to just below Ōkōchi Sansō villa.

12. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest -2

12. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest -3

 

How to get there

The quickest route from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama is via the JR Sagano Train Line, which is also known as JR Sanin Line. The one-way ride to Saga-Arashiyama Station takes 15 minutes and costs 240 yen. From Saga-Arashiyama Station, central Arashiyama can be reached in a 5-10 minute walk.

 

Accommodation

1. Arashiyama Bamboo Guest House
Address: 616-8373, 4-16 Sagatenryuji Kurumamichicho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8373, Japan
Phone: +44 (0)1775 843417

2. Hotel Binario Saga-Arashiyama
Address: Japan, 616-8372 Kyoto Prefecture, Ukyo Ward, Sagatenryuji Hiromichicho, 3-4
Phone: +81 75-871-9711

3. Togetsutei
Address: 54-4 Arashiyama Nakaoshita-cho, Nishikyo-ku, 616-0004, Kyoto Prefecture
Phone: +81 75-871-1310

 

13. Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Hiroshima

13. Hiroshima Peace Memorial - 1

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum has a collection of items that was taken from the aftermath of the atomic bomb that befell the city. With displays such as torn clothes from victims, melted lunch boxes, a watch that stopped precisely at 8.15am, and photographs from the aftermath of the atomic bomb, the exhibition is poignant and a little disturbing. However, the museum is a must-visit when one is in Hiroshima.

This building was the only structure left standing after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. It is commonly called the Genbaku ("A-Bomb") Dome and it serves as a memorial to the thousands of people who perished during the atomic explosion.

This building was the only structure left standing after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. It is commonly called the Genbaku (“A-Bomb”) Dome and it serves as a memorial to the thousands of people who perished during the atomic explosion.

The eastern building presents an exhibition of the history of Hiroshima, and showcases the development and the destructive properties of nuclear weapons. Upon exiting the museum, the video accounts of victims are not to be missed. This is alongside the guest book signed by world-leaders, including the first visit by a US President, Barack Obama in 2016, who placed origami paper cranes to symbolise peace.

The main building of the museum is currently undergoing major renovation, and will be closed in February 2017 until 2018 when it will be reopened to the public again. During the closure, some exhibits from the main building have been relocated to the east building.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is dedicated to documenting the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in World War II.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is dedicated to documenting the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in World War II

 

How to get there

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park can be reached by tram from Hiroshima Station at the terminal just in front of the station’s southern exit. Take tram #2 or 6 to the Ganbaku Domu-mae stop. The trip takes about 15 minutes and costs 150 yen.

Address: 730-0811 Hiroshima Prefecture, Naka Ward, Nakajimacho, 1-2
Phone: +81 82-241-4004
Opening hours: 08:30 – 18:00 (until 19:00 in August, until 17:00 from December to February); last entry 30 minutes before closing
Entrance fee: 200 yen

 

Accommodation

1. Hotel Sunroute Hiroshima
Address: 730-0051 Hiroshima Prefecture, Hiroshima, Naka Ward, Otemachi, 3 Chome- 3-1
Phone: +81 82-249-3600

2. Mitsui Garden hotel Hiroshima
Address: 730-0037 Hiroshima Prefecture, Naka Ward, Nakamachi, 9-12
Phone: +81 82-240-1131

3. Hotel Hokke Club Hiroshima
Address: 730-0037 Hiroshima Prefecture, Naka Ward, Nakamachi, 7-7
Phone: +81 82-248-3371

 

14. Himeji Castle

Grand Entrance

Grand Entrance

Himeji Castle is widely believed to be Japan’s most magnificent castle, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a national treasure and one of only a handful of original Japanese castles still standing, as most others are modern concrete replicas.

This castle has been given the nickname of Shirasagi-jō, or ‘White Egret Castle’, in reference to its white-washed exterior walls and its elegant structure towering high on a hill. The castle has a five-storey central keep or tenshū and three smaller subsidiary ones, surrounded by a moat and outer defense walls that have rectangular, circular, and triangular openings for firearms and arrows.

14 Himeji Castle - 2

The walls of the main keep has little holes called ishiotoshi that are meant for defenders of the castle to pour boiling water or oil onto invaders trying to scale the walls as another line of defense. The castle had fortifications built in 1333, but the main structure of the castle was built in 1580 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and renovated by Ikeda Terumasa 30 years later. Ikeda was bestowed the castle by Tokugawa Ieyasu when his army defeated Toyotomi’s armies in a historic battle. In the ensuing centuries, the castle became home to 48 successive lords. In 2014, the castle was reopened to the public after a five-year renovation.

A tour of the castle takes about 1½ hours while following the guided route around the castle. Final entry of the castle is an hour before closing time.

14. Himeji Castle -3

 

How to get there

Himeji Castle stands one kilometer from Himeji Station. From the station’s north exit, the castle can be reached in a 15-20 minute walk or five-minute ride by bus (100 yen one way) or taxi (about 650 yen one way).

Address: Japan, 670-0012 Hyogo Prefecture, Himeji, Honmachi, 68
Phone: 079-285-1146
Hours: 09:00 – 16:00 daily
Entrance Fee: 1000 yen (castle only) ; 1040 yen (castle and nearby Kokoen Garden)

 

Accommodation

1. Himeji Castle Grandvrio Hotel
Address: 670-0940 Hyogo Prefecture, Himeji, Sanzaemon Borinishinomachi, 210
Phone: +81 50-5847-7770

2. Hotel Wing International Himeji
Address: 670-0921 Hyogo Prefecture, Himeji, Watamachi, 132
Phone: +81 79-287-2111

3. Comfort Hotel Himeji
Address: 670-0935 Hyogo Prefecture, Himeji, Hojoguchi, 1 Chome−50-3
Phone: +81 79-286-8511

 

15. Todaiji, Nara

15. Todaiji -1

The ancient capital of Nara is most famous for the huge Daibutsu or Great Buddha statue. The statue is enshrined within the grand old temple Todaiji, and dates back to 728 CE. The Daibutsu statue is the largest bronze figures in Japan, and one of the largest in the world. It was casted back in 746 CE, but the present statue is actually a recast during the Edo period. It stands over 16 meters in height and is cast out of 437 tons of bronze and 130kgs of gold. It is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Daibutsu is enshrined within the Tōdai-ji’s Daibutsu-den, or the Great Buddha Hall, which incidentally is the largest wooden structure in the world. The present building was rebuilt in 1709, but is a mere two-thirds of the original. Aside for the Daibutsu-den, most of Tōdai-ji’s grounds have no cover charge.

This Daibutsu is actually Dainichi Nyorai or Vairocana Buddha and it is the largest bronze figures in Japan, and one of the largest in the world.

This Daibutsu is actually Dainichi Nyorai or Vairocana Buddha and it is the largest bronze figures in Japan, and one of the largest in the world.

The Daibutsu is in the form Dainichi Nyorai, or Vairocana Buddha; the cosmic Buddha believed to give rise to all sacred realms and Buddhas within them. Historians state that Emperor Shōmu decreed the construction of the Buddha to ward off an epidemic of smallpox that ravaged medieval Japan. Unfortunately, earthquakes and fires damaged the statue over the centuries and the head was severely damaged a few times. Hence, the head today has a slight difference in hue to the rest of the body of the statue.

Behind the statue is huge wooden column with a hole through its base. Japanese folk belief maintains that those who manage to squeeze through the hole, which is said to be the size of the Great Buddha’s nostrils, will be ensured of eventual enlightenment. These days, there is always a line of children waiting to crawl through the hole with eager parents taking pictures of them. For bigger ‘kids’, it would be advisable to have your hands outstretched and have someone pull you through on the other end.

Naturally, Tōdai-ji is always packed with tourists and children from all over Japan, and fortunately it is big enough to accommodate crowds, and is a must visit for all visiting Nara.

The smaller statue next to the Daibutsu is of Kokuzo Bosatsu or Akasagarbha Bodhisattva

The smaller statue next to the Daibutsu is of Kokuzo Bosatsu or Akasagarbha Bodhisattva

 

How to get there

Todaiji is about a 30-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station or 45-minute walk from JR Nara Station. The temple can also be reached by bus from either station. Get off at Todaiji Daibutsuden stop, and it is just a 5-10-minute walk to Todaiji’s main prayer hall.

Address: Japan, 630-8211 Nara Prefecture, Zoshicho, 406-1
Phone: +81 742-22-5511
Opening hours: 8:00 to 16:30 (November to February) ; 8:00 to 17:00 (March) ; 7:30 to 17:30 (April to September) ; 7:30 to 17:00 (October)
Entrance fee: 500 yen

 

Accommodation

1. New Wakasa Ryokan Nara
Address: 630-8274 Nara, Kitahanda Higashimachi 1
Phone: +81 742-23-5858

2. Comfort Hotel Nara
Address: Japan, 630-8244 Nara Prefecture, Sanjocho, 321-3
Phone: +81 742-25-3211

3. Hotel Nikko Nara
Address: Japan, 630-8122 Nara Prefecture, Nara, Sanjohonmachi, 8-1
Phone: +81 742-35-8831

 

16. Hōryū-ji, Nara

16. Horyuji - 1

In 607 CE, Prince Shōtoku, considered to be a great patron of Japanese Buddhism, founded the ancient Hōryū-ji temple. Hōryū-ji is widely renowned to be the oldest temple in Japan, and has a veritable treasure trove of antiquities. Several of the temple’s hardy wooden buildings managed to withstand centuries of earthquakes and fires to become the oldest wooden structures in the world. Many of Hōryū-ji treasures are now exhibited at the Tokyo National Museum.

The temple consists of two main buildings – Sai-in or the Western Temple, and Tō-in or the Eastern Temple. Visitors can pick up a detailed map and guidebook in English at the entrance. The main path from the entrance is an avenue lined with trees and through the Nandai-mon and Chū-mon gates before entering the Sai-in compound. Upon entering the compound, the main prayer hall or Kondō is on the right, and an old pagoda stands on your left.

This is Yumedono (Hall of Visions), where Prince Shōtoku is believed to have meditated and received visions of golden apparitions helping him with his study of the Sutras.

This is Yumedono (Hall of Visions), where Prince Shōtoku is believed to have meditated and received visions of golden apparitions helping him with his study of the Sutras.

Several treasures are enshrined in the Kondō including the trinity of Buddha Sakyamuni waited by two attendant bodhisattvas. The pagoda contains clay images that depict scenes from the life of Buddha, but they may not be as visible due to poor lighting conditions.

On east side of Sai-in are where two concrete buildings of the Daihōzō-in (Great Treasure Hall) stand, containing many priceless treasures from Hōryū-ji’s long and illustrious past. As one heads east, they will pass through the Tōdai-mon and into Tō-in, where Prince Shōtoku is believed to have meditated and received visions of golden apparitions helping him with his study of the Sutras at the Yumedono, the Hall of Dreams.

Due to the cost of admission and commuting time from central Nara, it is recommended to have at least half a day set aside for touring the temple. In order to get there, one can take the JR Kansai line from JR Nara Station to Hōryū-ji Station (220 yen, 11 minutes). At the station, Bus 72 shuttles passengers to and from Hōryū-ji Monmae (180 yen, eight minutes). Alternatively, one can also take bus 52 or 97 from either JR Nara Station Kintetsu Nara Station and then get off at the Hōryū-ji-mae stop (760 yen, one hour). From the bus station, walk west for about 50m and cross the road and the tree-line entrance to the temple is visible.

The main prayer hall enshrines the trinity of Buddha Sakyamuni waited by two attendant bodhisattvas along with other Buddha and bodhisattva figures from the 7th century CE.

The main prayer hall enshrines the trinity of Buddha Sakyamuni waited by two attendant bodhisattvas along with other Buddha and bodhisattva figures from the 7th century CE.

 

How to get there

To get to the temple by train, take the Yamatoji Line at JR Nara Station to Horyuji Station (12-minute train ride for 220 yen). From the station, it is a 20-minute walk or short bus ride by bus #72 to the temple (190 yen, departures every 20 minutes). Get off at the Horyujimon-mae bus stop.

Address: Japan, 636-0115 Nara Prefecture, Ikoma District, Ikaruga, Horyuji Sannai, 1-1
Phone: +81 745-75-2555
Hours: 8:00 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from early November to late February)
Entrance fee: 1,500 yen

 

Accommodation

1. Hotel Nikko Nara
Address: 630-8122 Nara Prefecture, Nara, Sanjohonmachi, 8-1
Phone: +81 742-35-8831

2. View Lohas JR Nara Station Super Hotel
Address: 630-8122 Nara Prefecture, Nara, Sanjohonmachi, 1-2
Phone: +81 742-27-9000

3. Nara Washington Hotel Plaza
Address: 630-8236 Nara, Nara, Shimosanjo-cho 31-1
Phone: +81 742-27-0410

 

17. Kotokuin, Kamakura

17. Kotokuin Temple - 1

The Daibutsu, or Great Buddha of Kamakura, is one of Japan’s most iconic statues. This Buddha is an 11.4 meters high bronze statue of Amida Buddha or Amitabha Buddha and lies in the courtyard of Kōtoku-in temple, which belongs to the Jōdo sect. The construction of the statue was inspired by Shogun Minamoto Yoritomo’s visit to Nara, home of Japan’s largest Daibutsu after the Minamoto clan’s victory over the Taira clan.

The Shogun wished to construct a monumental Buddha statue in Kamakura, but passed away before his wish could be fulfilled. However, one of his court ladies by the name of Inada no Tsubone (Lady Inada) pledged to fulfill the late Shogun’s wish, and so, a huge wooden Buddha statue was sculpted, and then completed in 1243 CE after ten years of intense labor. The funds was raised by Lady Inada and the Buddhist priest Jōkō of Tōtōmi.

17. Kotokuin Temple - 2

Unfortunately, that wooden statue was damaged by a freak storm in 1248 CE and the hall that housed the statue was also destroyed. So Jōkō suggested making another statue of bronze to replace it, and the amount of funds needed for casting the statue and for a new hall was raised.

The statue was probably casted by Ōno Gorōemon or Tanji Hisatomo, both being the best casters of the time, and that statue was completed in 1252 CE. It seems that at one time, the statue was gilded. There are still traces of gold leaf near the statue’s ears. Although the statue was once enshrined in a huge hall, today it sits in the open as the hall had been washed away by a tsunami in 1498 CE. For a 20 yen fee, visitors are allowed inside the statue to see how the ancient sculptors piece the 850-tonne statue together.

17. Kotokuin Temple - 3

 

How to get there

The Kotokuin temple is located at a 5-10 minute walk from Hase Station, the third station from Kamakura city along the Enoden railway line. From Kamakura Station, all buses from stops 1 and 6 at the east exit shuttle to Daibutsu-mae stop for 190 yen. Alternatively, one can take the Enoden Enoshima line to Hase Station and walk north for about eight minutes before arriving at the entrance of the temple. The Enoden line is a streetcar-like train that connects Kamakura with Enoshima and Fujisawa. Its station in Kamakura is located just next of JR Kamakura Station.

Address: 4-2-28, Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0016, Japan
Phone: 0467 22 0703
Opening hours: 08:00 – 17:30 (April–September) ; 08:00 – 17:00 (October- March) ; Last entry 15 minutes before closing
Entrance fee: 200 yen (Adults & Students aged 13-18) ; 150 yen (Students aged 6-12) ; 20 yen per person who want to enter inside the Buddha

 

Accommodation

1. Kamakura Guest House & Bar
Address: 248-0021 Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura, Sakanoshita, 11-7
Phone: +81 467-33-5118

2. Kamakura Park Hotel
Address: 248-0021 Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura, Sakanoshita, 33-6
Phone: +81 467-25-5121

3. Kamakura Prince Hotel
Address: 1 Chome-2-18 Shichirigahamahigashi, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0025
Phone: +81 467-32-1111

 

18. Ofuna Kannonji Temple, Kamakura

18. Ofuna Kannonji Temple -1

Ōfuna Kannon Temple is one of the ‘newer’ Buddhist temples in Kamakura. The highlight of this temple is a 25-meter (82-feet) tall, 1900-ton reinforced concrete bust of the bodhisattva Kannon, which is the Japanese derivative of Kuan Yin.

In dedication to peace, this stone lamp on the temple grounds holds the flame that originated from the atomic fires of Hiroshima.

In dedication to peace, this stone lamp on the temple grounds holds the flame that originated from the atomic fires of Hiroshima.

The temple was built in 1929, and it adheres to the Sōtō school of Zen Buddhism. The rough profile of the bust was completed in 1934 but work was stopped at the start of the Pacific War. It was not until 1954 that the Ofuna Kannon Society resumed construction, and the temple was finally completed in 1960. The statue was fashioned out of poured concrete into a mould, and this was done entirely by hand. There were no concrete trucks used, and the surface of the statue was painted white.

As the temple is dedicated to peace, the casting of the Kannon bust included stones that were taken from ground zero of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the cities that were hit by the atomic bombs. Furthermore, the temple hosts a long-burning flame that originated from the atomic fires in Hiroshima. The statue itself has a small museum and shrine for the public to pay homage to.

18. Ofuna Kannonji Temple -2

 

How to get there

Ōfuna Kannon Temple is close to the Ōfuna Station and is about a 5-minute walk from the station.

Address: 1-5-3, Okamoto, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 247-0072,
Phone: 81-467-43-1561
Entrance Fee: 300 yen (adults) ; 100 yen (elementary and junior high school students) ; 200 yen (per pax in groups with more than 20 persons)

 

Accommodation

1. Hotel Mets Kamakura Ofuna
Address: 247-0056 Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura, Ofuna, 1 Chome-2-1
Phone: +81 467-40-1192

2. Fresa Hotel, Ofuna
Address: 247-0056 Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura, Ofuna, 1-2 6-5
Phone: +81 467-42-2031

3. Sotetsu Fresa Yokohama Totsuka
Address: 244-0003 Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama, Totsuka Ward, Totsukacho, 16-8
Phone: +81 45-860-2031

 

19. Chuson-ji, Hiraizumi

19. Chusonji - 1

This ancient temple was built in the style typical of Hiraizumi architecture that was prevalent around the middle of the 9th century CE. Chuson-ji temple is ranked amongst some of the most important Buddhist temples in Japan.

The temple was built during a period when Hiraizumi was the northern capital of Japan and was even more prosperous than Kyoto. During this period, the temple was at the heart of the ancient capital, and there was a glorious culture of using gold and silver in ornamentation, also known as the Golden Culture of Hiraizumi. This extravagance has come to symbolise the glory and power of the Fujiwara clan that ruled Japan at that time.

19. Chusonji - 2

In this temple, there is a treasure hall known as Sankon-zo, and this hall houses an extensive collection of over 3,000 National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. The Konjiki-do is a hall covered in gold and silver as it enshrines the mummified remains of several generations of chiefs of the Fujiwara clan.

19. Chusonji - 3

 

How to get there

By train, Chusonji temple can be reached by ten-minute bus ride along the Hiraizumi Loop Bus, or by a 20-30 minute walk from Hiraizumi Station.

Address: 029-4102 Iwate Prefecture, Nishiiwai District, Hiraizumi, Koromonoseki-202
Phone: +81 191-46-2211
Opening hours: 08:30 – 17:00 (1 March – 3 November) ; 08:30 – 16:30 (4 November – End of February)
Entrance fee: 800 Yen

 

Accommodation

1. Chisun Inn Iwate Ichinoseki IC
Address: Japan, 021-0041 Iwate Prefecture, Ichinoseki, Akoogi, Tsukimachi−188−2
Phone: +81 191-25-6911

2. Hotel Route-Inn Ichinoseki Inter
Address: 021-0041 Iwate, Ichinoseki, Akogi Azatsurumaki 33-1, Japan
Phone: +81 191-33-2011

3. Toyoko INN Ichinoseki Station
Address: Japan, 021-0882 Iwate Prefecture, Ichinoseki, Kamiotsukikoji, 2−33
Phone: +81 191-31-1045

 

20. Zenko-ji, Nagano

20. Zenkoji -1

An ancient temple founded in the 7th century CE. Today, Zenko-ji is a national treasure, and home to the revered statue Ikkō-Sanzon, reputed to be the first Buddhist image to arrive in Japan (circa AD 552). However, it has been kept hidden in the temple, and not even 37 generations of emperors have seen this image.

20. Zenkoji -2

Although millions of pilgrims and visitors flock to view a replica of the statue every seven years during the Gokaichō Matsuri celebration, the original statue is never shown. Zenkō-ji’s incredible popularity is also due to the fact that the temple welcomes everyone regardless of gender, creed, or religious belief. Its chief officiates are both a priest and a priestess. The current building dates from 1707 CE.

20. Zenkoji -3

 

How to get there

Any bus from bus stop 1 in front of JR Nagano Station’s Zenkō-ji exit will get you to the temple (It costs 100 yen for a journey of 10 minutes). Just get off at the Daimon bus stop.

Address: 380-0851 Nagano Prefecture, Nagano, Motoyoshicho-491
Phone: +81 26-234-3591
Opening hours: An hour before sunrise to 16:30 ; Until 16:00 (from December to February) ; Until 16:15 in March and November) ; 09:00 to 16:00 (History Museum)
Entrance fee: 500 yen

 

Accommodation

1. Takayama Hostel Zenkoji Temple Guesthouse
Address: 506-0025 Gifu-ken Takayama-shi, Tenman-cho 4-3
Phone: +81-577-32-8470

2. 1166 Backpackers
Address: 380-0842 Nagano, Nishimachi 1048
Phone: +81 26-217-2816

3. Toyoko INN Nagano
Address: Nagano Prefecture, Minaminagano, Minamiishidocho− 1315-8
Phone: +81 26-228-1045

 

Travel Books on Japan

 

Lonely Planet Japan (Travel Guide)

20a Lonely Planet Japan

Lonely Planet Japan is your gateway to the best places and attractions in Japan. Shop and dine in futuristic Tokyo, discover Kyoto’s ancient temples and gardens, or hike up the beautiful Japan Alps with your trusted guidebook. Travel right to the heart of Japan and let your adventure begin!

 

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Japan

eyewitnessjapan

This is the Winner of the Top Guidebook Series in the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards 2017. The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Japan delivers you straight to the best place and best things to do in the Japanese isles. You could go exploring traditional and futuristic Tokyo, ancient temples at Kyoto, majestic Mount Fuji, and so forth. The accessible Travel Guide provides the most relevant information on all the major attractions at these places to make the best of your trip.

 

For more interesting information:

 

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Pastor David Lai
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About Pastor David Lai

David is a lay Buddhist pastor of Kechara and a longtime student of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Initially a reluctant writer, he now finds himself writing for a living and has published four books including his autobiography, There's No Way But Up and Conversations in Love.

David is a lover of Buddhist art and whenever he can, he shares his knowledge of the Dharma with everyone, giving frequent teachings and writing on his blog www.davidlai.me.
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8 Responses to Wonderful Japan – Honshu

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  1. sarassitham on Sep 10, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    Japan is one of the most unique and fascinating countries in the world. I loved the beauty of Honshu, an amazing places to visit for its wonderful scenery. There a so many ancient temples, cultural, traditional cities for us to explore. Japan is also very unique country to visit for it’s four seasons climate.

    Thank you for the sharing, this very well documented tourist guide for any visitors to Honshu, Japan.

  2. S.Prathap on Jul 23, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Good and beautiful article about Honshu .Japan geographical location on the outermost region of Asia has a profound impact on its history.
    Japan cuisine is world famous for its presentation,taste and the way of cooking .There are a lot of interesting place to visit and the most famous is Mount Fuji. It is the highest mountain in Japan.
    Thank you very much for this informative write up which will be useful and guide to tourist who plan to visit here.

  3. Anne Ong on Aug 12, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Love this beautiful and interesting article on Honshu. I love japanese food, and the food in the pictures look so tempting! Lol!!! 🙂 Especially Sushi. The scenery are so beautiful! Some of the pictures that caught my interest and attention are…16. Hōryū-ji, Nara. 18. Ofuna Kannonji Temple, Kamakura. 1. Mount Fuji, Fujinomiya.3. Shinjuku-Gyoen, Tokyo.15. Todaiji, Nara. Wish i have a chance to visit this place one day. Thank you Pastor David and blog team for this interesting article. _/\_

  4. Datuk May on Aug 3, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    A visit to Japan is always memorable. The contrast between “Old Traditions” and “Modernity” is very apparent in Japan.

    You will see the younger generation all hip hopping around the newer areas of Tokyo and yet almost like in the same neighbourhood, you find traditional tea houses and even traditional hotels whereby you sleep on tatami mats instead of normal beds. And guess what, the bathtubs in these traditional hotels are really wooden tubs where you have to climb in and bathe in a sitting position.

    Huge heavy industrial factories are also within the same neighbourhood of exquisite traditional handicraft cottage industries.

    Japan is contrasting and exciting.

    Thank you Pastor David for this very well documented tourist guide for any visitors to Honshu, Japan.

  5. Wan Wai Meng on Jul 30, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    One of the things that struck me about this article is that Japan has the most number of Michelin stars compared to other countries around the world. It is an insight into the Japanese soul, that they really push the boundaries of their art and skills to a whole new level. That is the secret of the Japanese success on the world stage.

  6. Stella Cheang on Jul 28, 2017 at 12:28 am

    The castles and buildings in Honshu look grand and elaborated, a good showing of the glorious past of Nihon dynasties. The Great Buddha of Kamakura, Ofuna Kannonji Temple, Zenko-ji and the majestic castles are the attraction of Honshu to me. Therefore, making the colorful Harajuku a stark contrast. Thank you, Pastor David, for this informative article on Honshu, Japan.

  7. Lin Mun on Jul 22, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Japan is such a beautiful and clean place. There are many big and beautiful shrines. I would love to visit Great Buddha of Kamakura and Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto. It is always good to learn about other countries culture and how Buddhism grow in other parts of the world.

    Thank you Pastor David for sharing this informative article.

  8. Samfoonheei on Jul 22, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Amazing …..thank you Pastor David Lai, very informatives and beautiful post.Japan is a beautiful country to visit with so many ancient temples ,cultural ,traditional cities for us to explore .And of course the famous Mount Fiji,the icon of Japan where everyone know about it Japan has a colourful history back centuries ago Its the first ancient of human habitation in the Japanese archipelago Amazing .
    The Daibutsu, or Great Buddha of Kamakura and Mount Fuji are the two places which i would like to visit to discover myself the beauty of it.
    Thanks again for sharing.

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  • Saras
    Monday, May 23. 2022 03:00 PM
    Thanks you for the incredible tales of Ji Gong, I truly enjoyed knowing the actual monk in picture. Ji Gong symbolised hope and kindness of dharma to the poor and underprivileged, the spirit of Ji Gong will continue to survive through time because nothing could destroy that.

    I had fascinated watching a number of movies that had related Ji Gong kindness, compassion and his skillful actions that had such a large influence in the world and that until today.

    https://bit.ly/3lx8qyX
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, May 23. 2022 02:35 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for showing me the beauty of Buddhism which had me changed to be a better person. Learning and practicing this beautiful Tibetan Buddhism is simply amazing for me. Even though I started late yet no regrets and had not stop , going all the way learning bit by bit , more and more knowledge reading most of the blogs. There is always a reason behind it . With folded hands thanks again for bringing Dharma to us. Buddhism is such a wonderful religion indeed. Nor matter what i will never give up.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/karma-relaxes.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, May 23. 2022 02:32 PM
    Dorje Shugden was one of their main protector practices and considered an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. There has been an unbroken tradition of the practice of Dorje Shugden as an enlightened protector since early 1700 till now. We are fortunate we learn, practice of purifying, pacifying and removing obstacles and illnesses. All thanks to our Lama Tsem Rinpoche, bringing the practice to Malaysia. Dorje Shugden had been propitiated by Sakya lineage 18th centuries ago. Dorje Shugden has been viewed as an Enlightened Protector. Evidence from the Sakya throne holders themselves, who are the holders of the Sakya tradition’s most precious Tantric transmission.
    comes from none other than the Sakya throne holders themselves, who are the holders of the Sakya tradition’s most precious Tantric transmission. The Sakya lineage holders are considered to be emanations of Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri, and their family lineage is regarded as divine. They had propitiated Dorje Shugden as a fully enlightened being and composed a praise to him. This prayer has since achieved prominence and is still widely used today.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this sharing as it is marvelous to read that the supreme Dharmapala, Dorje Shugden is none sectarian. As confirmed by the 39th Sakya Trizin Dragshul Trinley Rinchen (1871 – 1935) who wrote,
    The Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden Tsel definitively is Avalokiteshvara.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-sakya-lineage-dorje-shugden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, May 23. 2022 02:29 PM
    Beautiful White Tara paintings by a very talented artist indeed . Love those paintings , merely looking at it is a blessing. Each of those paintings has it unique way which tells us a thousand words. White Tara is associated with maternal compassion and healing. In many representations, she has eyes in the palms of her hands and on the soles of her feet, as well as in the center of her forehead, representing her power to see those who are suffering and offer her aid.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing and explaining all about it for us to understand better.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/spectacular-white-tara.html
  • Saras
    Thursday, May 19. 2022 02:38 PM
    It is quite sad to know the condition of our Earth. Pollution essentially affects the quality of human life than one can imagine. The resources earth provides us are limited. They are blessings which we do not count.

    All these are mainly caused by human activities which harm the environment. It works in mysterious ways, sometimes which cannot be seen by the naked eye. Human has become selfish and is utilizing the earth’s resources at a instant rapid rate to enjoy privileges however forgotten on the effect of it in long run.

    Earth is a privilege given to us by nature and it’s our responsibility to protect it . Our well
    being solely depends on this. We should create awareness and start taking action to help our mother nature instead of looking for another earth. However, this is soon going to be our reality if we do not save the earth now.

    https://bit.ly/3wpmvEW
  • Saras
    Tuesday, May 17. 2022 10:59 PM
    Thank you for the unique interior design of Tao Restaurant in New York. I am very much fascinated to see the huge Buddha statue in this restaurant.

    The design idea is as such that able to bring versatile atmosphere to life. It also has a significant influence on customer experience because it includes planning the layout of the restaurant.

    Looking at the design itself very much suit to a Vegetarian Restaurant.

    https://bit.ly/3MqRkPe
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, May 17. 2022 03:52 PM
    Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche, also known as Chetul Sangye Dorje, is one of the few living disciples of the great master Khenpo Ngagchung . A great renowned realised Dzogchen yogis Master known for his great realization and strict disciplines. He lives a life as a wandering yogi meditating alone in caves for many years ,ceaselessly working to overturn samsara for all sentient beings. During his life Chatral Rinpoche was one of the most vocal opponents of meat eating in Tibetan Buddhism. He releases large amounts of fish from the Calcutta fish markets every year.Chatral Rinpoche even composed a song about this practise of saving lives. His amazing story and teachings had indeed inspired many especially the westerners. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/kyabje-chatral-sangye-dorjee-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, May 17. 2022 03:51 PM
    Samfoonheei on May 17, 2022 at 3:45 pm
    Revisit this incredible sharing of the history of Bhutan and the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. Bhutan a beautiful landlocked country have been long connected with Dorje Shugden ever since the days of 4th Zhabdrung Rinpoche Jetsun Jigme Norbu long and established tradition in Bhutan. Bhutan recognizes Buddhism as the state’s “spiritual heritage,” provides for freedom of religion, and bans discrimination based on religious belief. Buddhism was first introduced to Bhutan in the 7th century by Guru Padmasambhava. The Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal is considered to be the founder of modern day Bhutan. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal was notable Drukpa Kagyu masters of this nation advocated the practice of the enlightened Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. These goes back to the time of the 3rd Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo from the incarnation lineage where he had authored part of an early propitiation text to Dorje Shugden. Followed by the 4th Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu, from the reincarnation lineage of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, also included extensive prayers to Dorje Shugden in his collected works. Interesting findings the Gyalwang Drukpas are considered to be emanations of Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion. All liturgies to Dorje Shugden can be found in the collected works of prominent high lamas whose incarnation lineages are deeply linked with the very fabric of Bhutan’s history. The 4th Zhabdrung Rinpoche Jetsun Jigme Norbu is highly attained and cannot be wrong about Dorje Shugden. The 4th Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s autobiography tells all.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this great sharing. May more and more people know the truth the very truth and realised that Dorje Shugden is not evil but a very powerful dharma protector. The practice of Dorje Shugden is indeed very beneficial which had been practiced centuries ago.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-4th-zhabdrung-rinpoche-of-bhutan-and-dorje-shugden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, May 17. 2022 03:40 PM
    Great reading this post by Martin Desai of Huffington Post that brought out the truth of the illegal ban to the world. Huffpost an American news aggregator and blog, with localized and international editions, publishing a fair and logical article on the religious discrimination issue. It’s the Dorje Shugden controversy that’s have been going on along long time ago. For over more than 20 years Dorje Shugden people had been suffering from discrimination and segregation for their practice. Thank you Martin Desai for high lighting this injustice issue and sharing it is to the world. Thank you Huffington Post for publishing. Those who practice Dorje Shugden are being denied of service from hospitals and clinics. Some even are not allowed to work in government sectors. There’s more proof to support that it has happened like checking into hotel as in this post . Reading this article will tell all.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/huffington-post-when-machiavelli-dons-tibetan-robes.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, May 12. 2022 01:34 PM
    Prof. Lokesh Chandra is a well known scholar of the Vedic period, Buddhism and the Indian arts. Amazingly he has he published 576 books and 286 articles just between 1942 and 2004. He has also held many official government positions as well. Wow he has travelled widely all over Europe, Asia and Russia. He has studied many multi languages as such English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali, Pali, Old Persian, Japanese, Chinese, Tibetan, Malayalam, Mongolian, Indonesian, Greek, Latin, German, French, Tamil, Old Javanese, Russian, Avesta, and even Old Persian. Truly genius talented scholar of all time.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Joy for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/books-poetry/professor-lokesh-chandra-indias-great-scholar.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, May 12. 2022 01:31 PM
    GREAT NEWS…..Jewish priests are promoting vegetarianism to their followers . Most modern-day Jews are not vegetarian. Following a vegetarian diet are varied but include health benefits, such as reducing life threading diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers disease. Vegetarians appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes . That’s very true. By not eating meat one helps to discourage the cruel treatment of animals such as cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals on factory farms for consumption. One also helps to improve the environment, insofar as factory farms are major sources of water and air pollution, including gasses that contribute to global warming. By not eating meat one helps oneself, since a vegetarian diet is far healthier for humans than a diet based on meat. Jewish Vegetarian Society and others did the right approach to values of compassion for animals, protection of the environment, and concern for health reasons and spiritual well-being.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing on behalf of those animals who cannot speak for themselves.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/rabbis-urge-jews-to-go-vegan-in-global-campaign.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, May 12. 2022 01:29 PM
    John Shelby Spong an American bishop of the Episcopal Church. A liberal Christian theologian, religion commentator, and author, spoke bravely of what he thought of the Christian belief away from theism and traditional doctrines. To some Christians, Bishop John Shelby Spong was a heretic. Entrusted with defending the faith, he dismissed notions of the resurrection of Jesus that have been foundations of Christianity for centuries. Bishop Spong came to believe that insistence on an inerrant, literal view of the Bible obscures truth and destroys faith. He was an outspoken leader who believed that faith and worship should be open to marginalised groups. He sermonize a powerful message of love and justice that would resonate in an increasingly secular age. He gain international fame while writing more than two dozen books, appearing on TV shows as well. He was the recipient of three honorary awards to date before his passing. Interesting read .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this inspiring article.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/bishop-john-spong-on-religion-and-god-very-interesting.html
  • Saras
    Tuesday, May 10. 2022 03:39 PM
    Thank you for sharing the wonderful experience of making the wealth vase and the wealth box. A Wealth Box represents the divine abode of the wealth deities.

    It is quite a task to complete this as it requires a lot of effort and energy to input into the various collection of materials to complete the wealth vase and the wealth box.

    I had a lot information about this beneficial ritual which generates the energy to acquire resources for the proliferation of Dharma.

    https://bit.ly/3ssVrST
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, May 10. 2022 03:23 PM
    Very exciting news! H E kyabje Dagom Rinpoche’s incarnation is back. This young incarnation pay a visit to Trode Khangsar Chapel and makes offerings of gold to Djorje Shugden. This 350-year-old Trode Khangsar chapel was built and dedicated to Dorje Shugden the Powerful Dharma Protector. Offering gold to sacred images is a very traditional Tibetan method of paying homage to holy images. Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche’s previous lives were great masters, scholars and practitioners of Dorje Shugden. He held on strongly to his faith, devotion and respect for the Dorje Shugden. It is indeed inspiring to read and know that great masters are coming back. It brings so much hope and deepens faith that these Tulkus are back, life after life. As claimed by the Tibetan leadership that anyone practicing Dorje Shugden one will take rebirth into the lower realms. That’s wrongly says . Interesting post.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/incarnation-of-kyabje-dagom-rinpoche-makes-offerings-of-gold-to-dorje-shugden
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, May 10. 2022 03:21 PM
    Interesting read even not so scary afterall. But someone who have not experience before seeing a dark swirling ‘entity’ that was not exactly the shape of human will be frozen to death. Not for me as I do have Ds pendant with me and chanting Mantras helps me. Most hotels do have special unwanted guests . I did experienced this before while staying in old hotels .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/paranormal-stories/25903.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
2 years ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
2 years ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
2 years ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
2 years ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
2 years ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
2 years ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
2 years ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
2 years ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
2 years ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
2 years ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
3 years ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
3 years ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
3 years ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
3 years ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
3 years ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
3 years ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
3 years ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
3 years ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
3 years ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
3 years ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
3 years ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
3 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
3 years ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
3 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
3 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
3 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
3 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
3 years ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
3 years ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
3 years ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
3 years ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
3 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
3 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
3 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
3 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
3 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
3 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
3 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
3 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
3 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
3 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
3 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
3 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
3 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    5 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    5 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    5 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    5 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    5 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Trying to WE-fie. Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
7 days ago
Trying to WE-fie. Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
Trying to "WE-fie". Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
7 days ago
Trying to "WE-fie". Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
Celebrated Wesak Day 2022 in Penang, with a group of fun, committed, helpful and also devoted friends & family. Kechara Penang Study Group 15/5/2022 ~by Jacinta
7 days ago
Celebrated Wesak Day 2022 in Penang, with a group of fun, committed, helpful and also devoted friends & family. Kechara Penang Study Group 15/5/2022 ~by Jacinta
Vesak Day 2022 - Bird liberation. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
7 days ago
Vesak Day 2022 - Bird liberation. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
All attendees are paying homage to Rinpoche and Buddhas before the start of our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. Outwardly, it seems that Dorje Shugden helps practitioners overcoming their obstacles and problems but ultimately Dorje Shugden’s supreme purpose is to help practitioners on their path to Enlightenment. Do join in our weekly DS puja, every Saturday @3 pm at Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. ~by Jacinta
3 weeks ago
All attendees are paying homage to Rinpoche and Buddhas before the start of our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. Outwardly, it seems that Dorje Shugden helps practitioners overcoming their obstacles and problems but ultimately Dorje Shugden’s supreme purpose is to help practitioners on their path to Enlightenment. Do join in our weekly DS puja, every Saturday @3 pm at Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. ~by Jacinta
All of us are practicing on how to properly use dorje(Vajra), bell and damaru ~ Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
3 weeks ago
All of us are practicing on how to properly use dorje(Vajra), bell and damaru ~ Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
After inviting Dorje Shugden Wangze, Pastor Seng Piow teaches us how to use ritual objects and the full set of prayer accompanying it. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
3 weeks ago
After inviting Dorje Shugden Wangze, Pastor Seng Piow teaches us how to use ritual objects and the full set of prayer accompanying it. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
With great happiness, merits and excitement that Penang Group have invited Buddha Wangzey to Penang chapel, complete with full rituals and prayer. 30th April 2022 Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
3 weeks ago
With great happiness, merits and excitement that Penang Group have invited Buddha Wangzey to Penang chapel, complete with full rituals and prayer. 30th April 2022 Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Come and get your blessing from Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden in Penang @ Jalan Seang Tek ~ by Jacinta.
4 weeks ago
Come and get your blessing from Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden in Penang @ Jalan Seang Tek ~ by Jacinta.
Special thanks to one of our dedicated Penang group members, Choong for superb tormas. Swift Return Puja @ every Saturday, 3pm. Do contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
Special thanks to one of our dedicated Penang group members, Choong for superb tormas. Swift Return Puja @ every Saturday, 3pm. Do contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
Thanks to William for being the Umze for Swift Return Puja at Penang Centre. ~ by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
Thanks to William for being the Umze for Swift Return Puja at Penang Centre. ~ by Jacinta
The members of Kechara Penang Study Group are offering serkym to Dorje Shugden and His entourage. There's puja every Saturday @ 3 pm at Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek. All are welcome. ~by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
The members of Kechara Penang Study Group are offering serkym to Dorje Shugden and His entourage. There's puja every Saturday @ 3 pm at Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek. All are welcome. ~by Jacinta
We are in the third week of Ramadan this year, and kind volunteers have never failed to feed people in need since Tengku Zatashah started this meaningful #zerofoodwastage initiative in 2016. The aim is to benefit the underprivileged with nice surplus food collected from Ramadan buffets. Every night during the month of Ramadan, volunteers collect surplus cooked food from hotels and distribute it to charity homes and low-income families. THANK YOU, Tengku, dedicated volunteers and hotel partners, for making this Ramadan special for the underprivileged. #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment - KSK @ Vivian
1 month ago
We are in the third week of Ramadan this year, and kind volunteers have never failed to feed people in need since Tengku Zatashah started this meaningful #zerofoodwastage initiative in 2016. The aim is to benefit the underprivileged with nice surplus food collected from Ramadan buffets. Every night during the month of Ramadan, volunteers collect surplus cooked food from hotels and distribute it to charity homes and low-income families. THANK YOU, Tengku, dedicated volunteers and hotel partners, for making this Ramadan special for the underprivileged. #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment - KSK @ Vivian
We were chanting Migsetma mantra at the time this picture was taken. Thanks to all our Penang members who are very committed to attend Swift Return puja weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group, every Saturday @ 3pm. ~by Jacinta
1 month ago
We were chanting Migsetma mantra at the time this picture was taken. Thanks to all our Penang members who are very committed to attend Swift Return puja weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group, every Saturday @ 3pm. ~by Jacinta
William, who is our leader/ Umze is cleaning the pantry and Gordon offered up 4 carton of packet drinks today. We cannot thank you enough for all kind hearted who sponsored various offerings weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
1 month ago
William, who is our leader/ Umze is cleaning the pantry and Gordon offered up 4 carton of packet drinks today. We cannot thank you enough for all kind hearted who sponsored various offerings weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Siew Hong came with a basket of fruits while Choong, who is expert in baking offered tormas today for our Swift Return Puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
1 month ago
Siew Hong came with a basket of fruits while Choong, who is expert in baking offered tormas today for our Swift Return Puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Dedicated sisters, Sharyn and Swee Bee. They always make sure our puja offerings, especially fruits are arranged nicely. Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
1 month ago
Dedicated sisters, Sharyn and Swee Bee. They always make sure our puja offerings, especially fruits are arranged nicely. Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
Committed and hardworking Kechara Penang members, Mr. Tang and Mr. Huey. Really appreciate having you both at our weekly puja . Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
1 month ago
Committed and hardworking Kechara Penang members, Mr. Tang and Mr. Huey. Really appreciate having you both at our weekly puja . Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
KSK medic personnel have been tending to the needs of the clients every week. Their consistent kindness helps improve the medical welfare of those without a home. Thank you for serving and making them your priority on your weekends. #medicteam #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
2 months ago
KSK medic personnel have been tending to the needs of the clients every week. Their consistent kindness helps improve the medical welfare of those without a home. Thank you for serving and making them your priority on your weekends. #medicteam #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
In the midst of chaos, let's start healing. We have Dorje Shugden Puja every Saturday @ 3 pm. Contact William for more info. Kechara Penang Study Group. ~ by Jacinta.
3 months ago
In the midst of chaos, let's start healing. We have Dorje Shugden Puja every Saturday @ 3 pm. Contact William for more info. Kechara Penang Study Group. ~ by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Pastor is in da' house!!!! Kechara Penang Study Group @ Saturday, 3 pm. Contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
3 months ago
Pastor is in da' house!!!! Kechara Penang Study Group @ Saturday, 3 pm. Contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
3 months ago
4 months ago
After Dorje Shugden puja @Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek, members went to a nearby vegetarian shop for gathering. #CNY2022 #HappyReunion by Jacinta.
4 months ago
After Dorje Shugden puja @Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek, members went to a nearby vegetarian shop for gathering. #CNY2022 #HappyReunion by Jacinta.
In 2021, we've encountered far too many challenges—Pandemic, months-long lockdown, landslide, and flood. We are proud to witness Malaysians helping one another as these agonies come sequentially. Looking back to 2021, Kechara Soup Kitchen has made significant progress, with more to come in 2022. Every year, we move a little closer to our vision. We are immensely thankful to have such dedicated teams of volunteers willing to go above and beyond for our clients. Not to mention our sponsors and donors; none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for helping the underprivileged to a better future. Have a blessed year ahead from our hearts to your hearts. #2022 #newyear #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
4 months ago
In 2021, we've encountered far too many challenges—Pandemic, months-long lockdown, landslide, and flood. We are proud to witness Malaysians helping one another as these agonies come sequentially. Looking back to 2021, Kechara Soup Kitchen has made significant progress, with more to come in 2022. Every year, we move a little closer to our vision. We are immensely thankful to have such dedicated teams of volunteers willing to go above and beyond for our clients. Not to mention our sponsors and donors; none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for helping the underprivileged to a better future. Have a blessed year ahead from our hearts to your hearts. #2022 #newyear #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
Ipoh members were taking turns to offer Serkym and lights to Dorje Shugden. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 months ago
Ipoh members were taking turns to offer Serkym and lights to Dorje Shugden. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh members were preparing for Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 months ago
Kechara Ipoh members were preparing for Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 4th Dec 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 months ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 4th Dec 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Jun, our new Ipoh member, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden & The Three Jewels. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 months ago
Jun, our new Ipoh member, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden & The Three Jewels. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Mr. Cheah has offered 3 sets of Serkym prior to Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 months ago
Mr. Cheah has offered 3 sets of Serkym prior to Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has completed a Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 20th Nov '21. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 months ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has completed a Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 20th Nov '21. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Mr. Philip, our new visitor to Ipoh centre, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa and the Three Jewels prior to DS puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 months ago
Mr. Philip, our new visitor to Ipoh centre, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa and the Three Jewels prior to DS puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has resumed our Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 6th Nov 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 months ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has resumed our Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 6th Nov 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 months ago
Mark your calendars - we are about to embark on an epic ride! Kechara Food Bank will be travelling across the Peninsular in our giant truck to send dry food to over 2300 families. Thank you Volvo Trucks Malaysia for your generous donation of this custom-designed truck. What’s more – PPB Group Bhd is generously donating the food provision for this one-of-a-kind journey. Thank you on behalf of our grateful beneficiaries! Want to see all of this in action? Join us live or watch the videos and photos on our social media. Stay tuned!
8 months ago
Mark your calendars - we are about to embark on an epic ride! Kechara Food Bank will be travelling across the Peninsular in our giant truck to send dry food to over 2300 families. Thank you Volvo Trucks Malaysia for your generous donation of this custom-designed truck. What’s more – PPB Group Bhd is generously donating the food provision for this one-of-a-kind journey. Thank you on behalf of our grateful beneficiaries! Want to see all of this in action? Join us live or watch the videos and photos on our social media. Stay tuned!
Underprivileged residents of two PPRs in Kuala Lumpur recently received a total of 427kg from our longterm surplus produce sponsor, Lotuss Stores (formerly Tesco Stores). The 65 families are our regular beneficiaries, and are grateful to receive fresh vegetables on a consistent basis right at their doorstep. One of our recipients, Rajeswari, 52, single mother of 2 children, shared that she stopped receiving welfare aid due to unforeseen circumstances. Her words: "Saya cakap untuk Kechara [Soup Kitchen] banyak terima kasih sebab kasi makanan. Dan lebih mau tolong orang lain yang susah seperti saya". Our heartfelt thank-you goes to Lotuss Stores for being a dependable source of food aid and for #helpingthepoor with us. #kecharafoodbank #makingadifference #kitajagakita #charity #foodbank #bantuan #ngomalaysia #givingback #strongertogether - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 years ago
Underprivileged residents of two PPRs in Kuala Lumpur recently received a total of 427kg from our longterm surplus produce sponsor, Lotuss Stores (formerly Tesco Stores). The 65 families are our regular beneficiaries, and are grateful to receive fresh vegetables on a consistent basis right at their doorstep. One of our recipients, Rajeswari, 52, single mother of 2 children, shared that she stopped receiving welfare aid due to unforeseen circumstances. Her words: "Saya cakap untuk Kechara [Soup Kitchen] banyak terima kasih sebab kasi makanan. Dan lebih mau tolong orang lain yang susah seperti saya". Our heartfelt thank-you goes to Lotuss Stores for being a dependable source of food aid and for #helpingthepoor with us. #kecharafoodbank #makingadifference #kitajagakita #charity #foodbank #bantuan #ngomalaysia #givingback #strongertogether - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Pastor Shin winning some mystery gifts for being the 1st person to answer a BONUS question during last Sunday's Blog chat quiz. Blog chat is a fun way to learn the Dharma. To find out more, check out > tsemrinpoche.com/chat. Joy - Moderator
1 years ago
Pastor Shin winning some mystery gifts for being the 1st person to answer a BONUS question during last Sunday's Blog chat quiz. Blog chat is a fun way to learn the Dharma. To find out more, check out > tsemrinpoche.com/chat. Joy - Moderator
Here is Pastor Antoinette who won some mystery gifts for being the 2nd person to answer a BONUS question during last Sunday's Blog Chat quiz/discussion. To find out more check out our blog chat section for our weekly topic! Joy - Moderator
1 years ago
Here is Pastor Antoinette who won some mystery gifts for being the 2nd person to answer a BONUS question during last Sunday's Blog Chat quiz/discussion. To find out more check out our blog chat section for our weekly topic! Joy - Moderator
#KFBBentong: Ready for some exciting news? We are now at RM154,523.94 - surpassing the funds required for our Pahang food bank operations! Thank you to all who kindly donated, we are deeply moved by your care and generosity towards the less fortunate struggling in our midst. To make our shared goal to continue #helpingthepoor a reality, we are now eagerly looking for suitable premises in Bentong. We will update soon on our progress, so stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #foodaid #bantuan #kitajagakita #hungerknowsnobarriers #endhunger #charity #ngomalaysia #Pahang - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 years ago
#KFBBentong: Ready for some exciting news? We are now at RM154,523.94 - surpassing the funds required for our Pahang food bank operations! Thank you to all who kindly donated, we are deeply moved by your care and generosity towards the less fortunate struggling in our midst. To make our shared goal to continue #helpingthepoor a reality, we are now eagerly looking for suitable premises in Bentong. We will update soon on our progress, so stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #foodaid #bantuan #kitajagakita #hungerknowsnobarriers #endhunger #charity #ngomalaysia #Pahang - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....