niōmon gate

nagano zenkō-ji

This Buddhist temple was built in the seventh century. The city of Nagano was only established in 1897. It was originally built around the temple. To enter the temple, we must go through the Niomon door with two impressive Deva guards that protect the temple fom the enemies of Buddhism. The main Buddhist image is a hibutsu (secret Buddha), a Buddha statue hidden, never revealed to the public. This would be the first hibutsu Buddha statue ever brought to Japan. The temple also contains an interior prayer chamber, accessible to visitors. From the inner chamber, a narrow staircase leads down to a completely dark hallway. In this corridor, the pilgrims try to touch a metal key hanging on the wall to reach enlightenment. An experience not to be missed!

MAP: locate “NAGANO ZENKŌ-JI” on the planet