Category Archives: Shrines

Hinode Big Buddha

Hokoji Temple – Shiozawayama Zenkoji Kano Royal Buddha

About a 25 minute drive from base there is a Daibutsu (Big Buddha) which is 18m tall on the side of a mountain at Hokoji Shrine. This Buddha was completed this past year and is larger than the famous Big Buddha of Kamakura. Parking can be found at the shrine. Admission was free but we were advised this may change after Oct. 2018 (so check their website for updated information). There is a beautiful short trail through the forest from the parking lot to the Daibutsu. My children enjoyed the scenery of the forest. At the end of the trail you will reach the Daibutsu on the side of the mountain where there is a view of the town of Hinode.
Hours: 9:00am – 4:30pm
Parking Fees:
500 yen for car
1,000 yen for bus
200 yen for motorcycle
Website (You will need to use a web translator): https://entakuzan-houkouji.or.jp/about/
-Jennifer Secor, June 2018

Sankeien Gardens – Yokohama

Memorial Day weekend we headed to Yokosuka and followed up with a trip through Yokohama. There, we went to a beautiful Japanese Garden with a couple temples located on the premises. There is a nice walkway around a pond through a forested area where you can see some old thatched roof structures. Around the end of May through the beginning of July the irises are in full bloom which makes for a beautiful scene. Also, Sankeien does a Firefly Festival at night during that time frame. Check their website for details on current events: http://www.sankeien.or.jp/en-about/index.html

Admission is:

Adult ( 15 years old and above) 700yen
Children ( 14 years old and under) 200yen
City residents 65 years old and above
*Please show the Hamatomo Card issued by Yokohama City
200yen
Parking Fees: 500 yen up to 2 hours; 100 yen for every additional 30 minutes.  Automobiles/Buses 1,000 yen maximum per day
-Jennifer Secor, June 2018

Goshuin – Shrine Stamp Collecting

A wonderful souvenir from Japan is your very own book of Shrine Stamps or Goshuin. Called Goshuincho, your stamp book can be stamped at most shrines and temples throughout Japan. Buy a book at any shrine where offered for around 1000-1500 yen. Shine books are available at some souvenir stores as well but if you buy from shrines they will likely feature a design unique to the shrine or local area. Find the Goshuin area of the shrine/temple and the monks will stamp and sign in calligraphy the name of the shrine and date usually for 300 yen (for each stamp in your book).

Goshuin used to be a way for pilgrims to show proof of their visits to shrines but they have gained popularity among young people and tourists. Please be aware that monks see these as religious symbols/objects so extra writing or other souvenir type of stamps included in the book may be seen as insult or defacement.

If you forget your book, you can ask for a loose paper stamp and glue it in your book later. Shrines usually have a stack available for this purpose.

Blog posts to read more about goshuin:

https://www.thewanderingsuitcase.com/collecting-goshuin-as-a-souvenir/

http://www.kyotoursjapan.com/goshuin/

https://www.japanhoppers.com/en/features/temples_shrines/320/

Stamp collecting can become addicting and the shrines feed into it by offering special stamps and colors for different holidays. Instagrams to follow for shrine stamps and special stamp happenings:

cinzano_limetto
chille0229
mikko0718
holakanappe
or search #goshuin

It’s a fun way to track your time in Japan and the places you visit along the way.  Jennifer McCarthy – January 2018