The temple of Daiho-ji was built in the 16th century by Narai Yoshitaka, ruler of this region. In the temple grounds is a Maria Jizo (Jizo = guardian deity of children) made in the image of the Virgin Mary. Because Christianity was prohibited in Japan during this period, people secretly wishing to worship an image of the Virgin altered old stone statues of Japanese Jizo to create Maria Jizo. Also in the back yard of the temple is a garden laid out in the mid-18th century, where visitors can enjoy beautiful views of azaleas in June and maple trees in the fall. The district in which Daiho-ji is located prospered as a post town for the major highway of Japan from the 17th century onward. Rows of streets and houses from these days still remain today, and in 1978 the government designated the area a District for Preserving a Group of Important & Traditional Structures.
Address: 423 Narai, Shiojiri-shi, Nagano
Admission Fee: 100 yen
Closed: Open throughout the year
[Bus]JR Ueda Stn/Bus/25 min/Togo Bus stop/15-min. walk