= My friends from various countries
Zenko-ji Temple is the pride of Nagano — even the pride of Japan.
It attracts more than 6,000,000 people annually.
However, many people miss the greatest part of their visit.
To fully enjoy its serene solemn atmosphere, stay at one of its 39 shukubo ( inns to serve for pilgrims run by temples affiliated to Zenko-ji), and join the morning service performed by both Zenkoji ‘top priest’ and
‘top priestess’ along with those shukubo monks!
We started our tour here at the ‘Deva King Gate’ in the crisp air. You will see only some people in early morning.
Daihongan–the temple of the top priestess
The main approach is also calm.
Purified ourselves with the smoke from the incense burner.
Before joining the morning ritual, we received the blessing from the top priest,
which is so special (unique and impressive) you cannot experience anywhere else.
We also got the blessing from the top priestess on the way back from the morning prayer — how lucky!
This is a photo from a couple of months ago — during the grand festival ‘Go-Kaicho’, people waited for a long time to touch the pillar called Eko-bashira, which features in the festival. And—
Now you can touch it anytime to your heart’s content.
The temple precinct is open and welcomes you anytime!