Video:Japan Travel: Zenko-ji Temple of Naganowith Megumi Eda
Zenko-ji Temple is a historic site in Nagano, Japan that should be at the top of your list to see when visiting Japan. In this travel video from About.com, get information on visiting Zenko-ji Temple.See Transcript
Transcript:Japan Travel: Zenko-ji Temple of Nagano
Hello my name is Megumi Eda for About.com. Today I am going to talk about Zenko-ji Temple in Nagano Japan.
Information on the City of Nagano, Japan
All Japanese people are told they should visit Zenko-ji at least once in their lifetime. Nagano is located basically in the center of Japan and is surrounded by high mountains and rich wilderness. There is no sea in Nagano - we are very proud to say about Nagano "No water - but mountains!" Nagano is most famous for hosting the Winter Olympics in 1998.
Nagano is a good example of a Monzenmachi town, What is Monzenmachi? Many major cities have evolved either as castle towns, harbour towns, or temple towns, which has developed around a temple of great importance. In Nagano's case that temple is Zenko-Ji. Zenko-ji Temple and is the 3rd largest wooden structure in Japan and was built in the 7th century to house the Ikkousanzon Amida Nyorai. This golden statue is one of the most treasured religious images in Japan.
Visiting Zenkoji Temple in Nagano Japan
To get to the temple from the train station, there is a special bus called Binzuro-go or Guruin-go. The fare is only ¥100. However, I strongly recommend that you go on foot. Just walk straight along the Chuo Dori and you are sure to make many discoveries along the street. Once you pass through the Nio-mon, with its two frightening guardians, the shops become more specialized: offering religious trinkets, shrines, and other mementos.
The temple attracts over 6 million visitors and pilgrims per year.Once you pass through the San Mon you are now very close to the Main Hall of Zen Ko Ji. Before going in make sure to purify your body with the smoke from the large incense burner. Then inside the Main Hall throw some money into the collection trough, place you hands together, take a bow and say a prayer or wish.
Then, to complete your pilgrimmage, make your way to a pitch dark underground passage where you will grope your hands along the wall to touch the "golden key of paradise".One tip for visiting the Zenko-Ji is get there early in the morning at sunrise to witness, or participate in the Ojuzu-chodai ceremony when the head priest - or in this case, priestess - touches your head with rosary beads for good fortune as she enters and leaves the main hall of the temple.
And that's some information about visiting the Zenko-Ji temple. To learn more, please visit About.com.