Seigan-ji Temple in Utsunomiya

Take in the atmosphere of a peaceful Buddhist temple

 By Peter Sidell   Feb 15, 2017

On a side street about ten minutes' walk from JR Utsunomiya station, Seigan-ji is a small, historical Buddhist temple, with a handful of interesting features.

For me, the most interesting of them was the large seated Buddhist statue close to the inner gate. Graceful and serene, he has one leg dangling over the edge of his lotus flower, an aura of calm all around him. Walk around the back of the base and you'll find a handful of small, very old carved figures.

Near the statue at the entrance to the graveyard, there's a monumental grave marker, like a monolith in scale and shape. On each side there are a number of Buddhist figures, some of them statues in small alcoves, some carved directly into the stone.

The worship hall has an impressive trio of fierce-looking dragons carved into the wooden beam under the eaves, and behind the hall there's a walled enclosure that's home to the grave of a local historical figure (I forget who, but there's English information near the main gate). Here and in other parts of the graveyard there are carved Buddhist statues, adding to the peaceful atmosphere created by the wooded setting.

Photography by Peter Sidell
JapanTravel Partner

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andrew c a month ago