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Shitennoji Temple

Shitennoji Temple

Shitennoji (四天王寺, Shitennoji) is one of Japan's oldest temples and the first ever to be built by the state. It was founded in 593 by Prince Shotoku, who supported the introduction of Buddhism into Japan. Although the temple's buildings burned down several times throughout the centuries, they were always carefully reconstructed to reflect the original 6th century design. The outer temple grounds are free to enter, but admission to the inner precinct, the Gokuraku-jodo Garden and the treasure house is paid. In the pebble covered courtyard of the inner precinct stand a five-storied pagoda that can be entered and ascended and the Main Hall (Kondo) in which Prince Shotoku is enshrined as a statue of Kannon. A short walk away, the Gokuraku-jodo Garden was designed based on descriptions of the Western Paradise of the Amida Buddha. Also on the temple grounds stands a treasure house that displays paintings, scriptures and other valuable belongings of the temple in periodic, themed exhibitions.



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