Saturday, July 17, 2010

Komachi no Sato -2-

On my way home I dropped in at two temples. It seemed other people didn't visit those temples, and it was very silent with only cicadas singing. 

This temple had a gate and basically it seemed to be the same as the one I showed in the "Asakusa -2-" posting. And this gate also had two Niou statues.

Basically these Niou statues have angry expressions on their faces, and they're said to protect the temple from intruders. I was successful in taking clear pics of the Niou this time, and this one with his mouth shut is called "Ungyou".

And the other Niou is called "Agyou". In Sanskrit, which was the common language used in Southeast Asia and India, these statutes were called "Vajradhara".

And I visited this temple too. This temple was burned down twice, but reconstructed in 1977. The atmosphere was so tranquil also here that the sound of my footsteps resonated while I was walking.

As I explained before, this is "Chouzuya" where you're supposed to wash your mouth and hands before you pray. The kanji written sideways in white means "Purify your soul". 

Some temples have bells like this, and on New Year's Eve, the monks hit the bells 108 times, and the 108 is the number of worldly desires people have. The monks start to hit the bells just before 0:00 AM, and it is the sign that tells people the year is about to end. Come to Japan around the end of a year, and you'll hear the bells being hit in the midnight.

I like the temples in Kyoto as well, but at temples where there aren't many tourists you'd feel more peaceful. =)