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Nagoya's gentle green giant

In a quiet residential area near Motoyama station in central Nagoya, Toganji must be the city's best kept secret. An attractive, tranquil Buddhist temple founded in the 16th century, its main feature is a huge, vivid green seated Buddha statue fully ten meters high, with more statues at its base, life-sized devotees, deer and elephants.

The grounds are equally appealing: there's a bamboo forest, a small pet cemetery, and a lot of Indian features, such as the detail on the lantern near the main hall, and the fighting elephants on the incense burner. Visitors are allowed to enter the main hall, and should absolutely do so to admire the beautiful painted ceiling.