A 700-year-old pine tree welcomes visitors to Hosen-in Temple, a lodging site for Buddhist pilgrims since the 11th century. Inside the quiet temple, visitors sip on traditional Japanese green tea while meditating on the ancient tree and gardens seen through the windows. Outside, visitors place their ears to a pair of bamboo tubes that stretch down into the ground from a small wooden terrace. It's said that the sounds heard from water dripping into a water basin symbolize harmony in the universe.
The serenity can only be disrupted by blood-spattered ceilings, a result of a gruesome Samurai battle that took place in the area in the 1600s. Temple keepers salvaged the wood in Fushimi Castle, where the battle was fought and lost, and affixed it to the temple's ceiling as a way of remembering the history and the lives of those in the battle.
Hosen-in Temple Tours
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