Zenkoji Temple

As annually 7 million visitors including large number of overseas visitors to Zenkoji Temple, the temple is always busy with many people. This is an old temple with 1,400-year history. It is believed that if you visit there once in your lifetime, your salvation will be granted. Since olden days, the temple has accepted any Buddhist visitors regardless of Buddhist sects. When you pass through an impressive Niomon (Nio means guardian) gate, you will see another gate, Sanmon, designated as an important cultural asset. The national treasure main hall, a large-scale wooden structure, is located beyond this gate. The principal image in the main hall is Amida Buddha and it is kept hidden from the public. Although the ceremony of exhibiting Buddhist statues takes place every six years at this temple, the only replica of the principal image is exhibited as the commandment of the temple requires absolute secrecy of the principal image. The main hall has a tunnel in its basement in which visitors try to find and touch ‘a key for paradise in complete darkness. This is one of the hands-on experiences we recommend.

Life / Culture
Website http://www.zenkoji.jp/ENGLISH/about/
Traffic access Nagano Station JR, 10 minutes to Bus Stop Bus 1 Zenkoji roundabout route from the bus Zenkoji, " Zenkoji Daimon " stop, 5 minute walk
Contact address 491-1, Nagano-motoyoshicho, Nagano-shi, Nagano prefecture
Official website http://www.gokaicho.com/english/