Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tokyo Day 5: Chiba's Nichiren Temples

On Saturday (our 5th and final day in the Tokyo area), Shinya's folks took us on a beautiful scenic drive through the wooded hills of Chiba prefecture to see two temples that are associated with Nichiren Shonin, the founder of the Nichiren sect of Japanese Buddhism (another area I know next to nothing about!) I thought about getting one of these dried fugu (Japanese pufferfish) to send home to Dad.
Tanjo-ji is a temple built on the birthplace of Nichiren. He was born in 1222, and the temple was originally built in 1276--though it was destroyed and moved a couple of times before it was built in this location in the early 1700s.

Some of the intricate carvings on the temple.
Seichoji was the temple that Nichiren went to train at when he was 15. It is also where he first started preaching his own brand of Buddhism.
A view out to the Pacific Ocean.

Here's a shot of the GPS (?) system in Shinya's folks' car. I hadn't seen one before and thought it was pretty cool. It has a computerized satellite map in it that shows you where you are and where you're going. It tells you out-loud in a little voice each turn you have to make as it comes up. I wish I had one of those for the Tokyo subway stations! (You actually can get something similar to work on a cell phone).