Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Winter break

This past Monday and Tuesday was CAJ's winter break!  I was able to take another trip up to Takayama.  It was fairly cool temperatures, between -3ºC at night and about 10ºC during the day.  I was very thankful for electric blankets and wood stoves. It is a beautiful place to be, very calm and it allowed me to relax, read a book, watch some hockey, and rejuvenate.  
On the way up, we made a stop to see the Oyaji Buddhist Temple.  It is a sacred place where you can find a large image of the goddess Kannon.  It was founded in 810.  There was a tour bus stopped when we walked into the temple area.  We are not allowed to video or take pictures in the temple, but as we were standing outside you could hear the chanting inside.  
Isn't it interesting how the temple is built into the rock?  Many of the Buddha images were carved into the stone.  There was a huge image of the goddess Kannon.  Check out the following pictures.  
Rock where the temple was built into.

A shrine in the crevice
One of the buddha images.  Putting a bib on an image is common.
More images

Images carved into the rock

Goddess Kannon

Looking down
We also went to Matsushima.  Matsushima is known for its beauty.  There are a number of islands and the views are very pretty.  There are shrines and temples on some of the islands, however because of the tsunami on March 11, 2011, some of the bridges were washed away.  
View of one of the bridges to the island.  
I did take more pictures, but there would be too many to put up on the blog, so feel free to go to to view the other pictures.  

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