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Buddhist Temples

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Buddhist Temples

If you want to see the typical classical architecture of Japan, there is no better place to go than one of its many buddhist temples. These temples, with their images of the Buddha, were established for the practice and propagation of the Buddhist religion, which originally came from India.
The layout of the temple buildings differs depending on the particular Buddhist sect and the period, and the names of the buildings themselves are also different. The picture here shows a typical layout.
The most important buildings in the temple are the main hall (Hondô, Kondô or Butsuden) and the pagoda. Worshippers stand in the outer chamber facing the inner sanctuary, with its images of the Buddha, to pray, pressing their palms together.

In India, the temple building which houses what are said to be the remains of the Buddha is called a stupa. In its passage to Japan via China and Korea, this type of building changed its shape and became the five-storied pagoda of the typical Japanese temple.


The Bonsho is the Buddhist temple bell. It is struck 108 times on New Year's Eve to ring in the New Year and drive out the 108 evil desires that man is heir to. (Joya-no-kane)