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Zenkō-ji Temple, Nagano

Categories: Sacred & Religious Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 1,100+ reviews on the web
One of the last remaining Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Japan, Zenkō-ji Temple draws worshippers seeking enlightenment from all over the country. Originally built in the 7th century, the temple compound stood before Japanese Buddhism was divided into sects, so priests of two different Buddhist schools share management of the shrine. The complex contains several gardens and buildings, including prayer rooms and a nunnery. The main temple holds a hidden Buddha statue that even the chief priest isn't allowed to view. Walk the pitch-black corridor under the temple to find and touch the hanging key of enlightenment. Our Nagano itinerary planner makes visiting Zenkō-ji Temple and other Nagano attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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  • Without doubt, the Zenkoji temple, built on top of a hill, seemed to dominate Nagano city. The temple is easily accessible from the hotels around the Nagano train station either by bus or the local De...  read more »
  • And it was fun filled me with a guide! ~ ~! It is absolute Guide to put better. Dark-or look at the entrance to the next key in the thrill! Check it out guys!
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  • I lived near here and would bring everyone who visited here. Pay to do the tour. There is a dark tunnel you walk through as a form of penance and it is a fantastic experience (but not great for childr...  read more »
  • Probably the highlight of Nagano city and one of the few places I would recommend. Been to Zenko-ji in summer and winter but must say it looks spectacular covered in snow.
  • Beautiful temple, lovely grounds and the pitch black corridor is absolutely worth doing, try to avoid having anyone too close in front or behind you as it's a much better experience if you don't bump into someone or have screaming children acting up as we did our first time through. Second time's a charm though!
  • Quite impressive, especially during Gokaicho, when there are a lot of things happening.. Pity it's only once every 7 years.. Definitely worth a look any way..
  • Excellent temple with very good volunteer tour guides!
  • Don't cheat and take a taxi or bus up to the temple. Make the modest walk up from Nagano station, and you'll feel like you're travelling back in time, as they chintzy tourist shops fall away, and you walk through ever more impressive gateways, until you hear the massive bell ringing the hour, smell the wafting incense, and are greeted by the magnificent site of one of the biggest wooden buildings still in existence in all of Japan. There's a reason that every Japanese person is told to visit this at least once in their lifetime. The grounds are gorgeous and the inner temple spectacular. Feel free to beat them to it.
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