Kita-in temple with a lot of cultural assets in Kawagoe, Saitama
This hall, named Jiedō, is currently the main temple building of Kita-in. It enshrines the spirit of the 18th head priest of Enryaku-ji Temple at Mount Hiei, Jie Daishi.
Jie Daishi is said to have possessed extraordinary spiritual power and performed many wondrous miracles. His spirit's presence is believed to the temple exceptionally effective at warding off evil, and many supplicants come at the new year.
The grounds are also home to more than 10 cultural properties, such as a bell-tower gate and Daikokuten hall, as well as structures such as a reception hall and study relocated here from within Edo Castle by the third shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu.
This relocation allowed the reception hall to escape the burning of Edo, making it the last remnant of Edo Castle to survive today.
Furthermore, Kita-in has one of the three best collections of rakan, or "arhat", a type of Buddha, in Japan. It possesses over 500 statues, built over the course of 50 years between 1782 and 1825.
They show a wide variety of expressions: some laughing, some crying, some angry.
A legend states that if you walk stealthily along in the dead of night, touching the heads of the rakan, there will be one whose head is warm, and his face will look like one of your dead parents'.
source of photo:http://homepage2.nifty.com/sahashi/whatnew/110609kawagoe/index.htm
open8:50am to 4pm, daily, except for christmas and new year.
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