Zenkoji Temple in the evening

outer gate of Zenkoji Temple at dusk

We went to Zenkoji Temple this evening. Admittedly, it does feel a bit like if you’ve seen one temple, you’ve seen them all. But this one is no less lovely than the others we’ve been to. We’re not religious people, but visiting temples and shrines is pretty nice. Maybe it’s being surrounded by giant things, or tiny effigy type things; or getting to check out architecture and landscape we don’t see often at home.

There’s not a lot I can say. All the information about the temple itself is on japan-guide, so please just enjoy these photos. :)

straw thongs tied to gate in front of large guardian statues

mountain beyond the temple grounds

busy market street leading to temple

entrance gateway to temple and shrines

stone statues adorned with red garments

inner gate leading to main temple hall

rows and rows of fortunes tied to a frame by a bridge

main temple hall

It was way way darker than how it looks in the photo, by the way. With the naked eye, everything was oranger, the sky was nowhere near as blue. This camera, even in auto mode with no flash, handles low light beautifully.

lion statue in front of main hall

stone tower statues behind main hall

closeup of stone tower statue

snow-topped stone tower statues

a bare tree, where fortunes may be tied

standing in a snowy park

There’s a lot of detail in this photo. By the time we got to this little snowy-ish part of the temple grounds, it was pretty much full night time. Looks like early morning, though, doesn’t it? Yes, there was a bit of snow around. I think it happened just before we came to Nagano, and some of it still hadn’t melted. I’m hoping we see snowfall before we leave, and wonder if I should have stopped at the shrine to make a wish.

side entrance to temple hall

fortunes tied to a tree

fortunes tied to tree, someone googling in the background