Temple 79: Tennoji

This temple is called “Emperor’s Temple” and was named so for Emperor Sutoku who was killed in 1156. This temple is modest in size and has a very nicely modern gate to the front. There is also a shrine on the premises as well.

Within the grounds is a fountain where the Emperor was said to have been washed to prepare him for burial.

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Approaching the front gate.

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The shrine is visible from the temple area.
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The first of wild cherry blossoms of the season.

 

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Very simple, yet elegant.

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Make sure to ring the bell when you come in, not when you leave. That will bring you bad luck.
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Quiet carvings among the pines.

There are a lot of temples on the 88 Temple Pilgrimage which are rather spectacular. Tennonji is, should you compare, very quiet and perhaps even dull. Nevertheless, there is a certain quiet and calm to be experienced at each site. Sometimes the buildings are constructed in a way that captures your attention.  Sometimes it is the hills or forest or flowers. Sometimes it is a smell or something in the air.

This is one of the great things about being out here on pilgrimage. Sometimes you are looking for something. Sometimes something finds you. Sometimes you are just left with a question or a sensation. You can accept it, or make of it what you will.

“You see, during my pilgrimage it became increasingly apparent that I wasn’t happy and I had to do something about it – stop making excuses. I realized that you don’t have to jump through a series of complicated hoops to achieve a goal. You can just look at a mountain and get a connection with God; you don’t have to understand the mountain to feel that.” 
Paulo Coelho