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Kamo Shrine in Imabari

Kamo Shrine stands in the valley of a little river that runs down to the Seto Inland Sea at Kikuma. Farm horses are raced here once a year in a dramatic festival.

Sabae's Bankei-ji Temple

As Japanese temples go, this one is fairly new - only 270 years old. The temple is small and simple, but very lovely. After climbing the steep steps, turn around and enjoy a beautiful view of Sabae. At the top of the stairs are the temple grounds, dominated by a very nice rock garden on the right. To the left, a blanket of moss covers the ground. Inside, on the ceiling of the main hall, are huge black ink paintings of Wind, Thunder, and Dragon Gods (Fu-shin, Rai-shin, Ryu-shin).

Shinmei Jinja Shrine, Sabae

Shinmei Jinja Shrine is situated directly across the street from the Shinmei-en Hotel where I stayed in October. I woke up early and decided to take a walk. I found this shrine - the back entrance, actually. At 6AM, it was chilly, empty, and serene. The wood of the shrine building was old and dark, but there was a splash of color here and there that added beauty to everything. There were other surprises: an old beautiful wooden house, a statue of a horse, a pond, a long, long walkway leading to the main entrance. A couple walking their dog greeted me in English with a cheerful "Good morning." It was a beautiful day in Sabae, Fukui.

Tatsueji

Temple nineteen in the Shikoku Ohenro pilgrimage is also known as the Temple of Arising Bay

Kodai-ji Temple's Lovely Grounds

In 1606, Kita-no-Mandokoro established this temple in memory of her late husband Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of Japan's greatest-ever military leaders. Also known as 'Nene' this remarkable woman later became a priestess, taking on the religious name of Kodaiin Kogetsuni. When she died in 1624, Sanko Osho of the Kenninji Temple became the head priest and the temple was renamed Kodai-ji. The temple itself is truly beautiful, but what grabbed my attention were the spacious grounds. It is a wonderful place to walk, people-watch, and take lots and lots of photos. The bamboo grove at the top of the hill and pond in the middle of the grounds are also very nice.

Sabae's Josho-ji Temple

Known for the splendor of its main gate, Josho-ji Temple is the head temple of the Shinshu sect, and the biggest temple in Sabae. The gate is gorgeous; I felt that I could have stood there for hours looking at all its carvings, especially the dragon.

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