Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple located in the Arashiyama district of Kyoto, Japan. It is known for its unique and charming collection of stone statues, known as the “Nenbutsu-ji Hyakumonogatari,” which are said to represent the 500 arhats, or enlightened disciples of the Buddha.
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The temple was originally founded in the 8th century, but was destroyed by a flood in the 14th century and remained in ruins for many years. It was later rebuilt in the 20th century, and the stone statues were added during this reconstruction period.
The statues are each unique and have been given individual personalities and expressions by the artists who created them. Some of the statues are depicted smiling, while others are shown laughing or playing musical instruments.
Visitors to the temple can stroll through the garden and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere while admiring the charming statues. The temple also has a small tea house where visitors can enjoy a cup of matcha tea and a sweet while taking in the serene surroundings.
Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple is a hidden gem in Kyoto and is often less crowded than other popular tourist destinations in the city. It offers a unique and memorable experience that combines art, history, and spirituality, and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese culture and Buddhism.
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