In the old days, Itsukushima Shrine was managed by Daisho-in Temple, where numerous Buddha statues are still displayed. But the most unique and intimate statues among them might be the 500 Rakan Statues in the garden that starts just to the left of the temple gate. Originally, Rakan referred to disciples directly instructed by Buddha. Later it came to mean a Buddhist monk who is worthy of respect and to make an offering to. In autumn, the 500 Rakan statues in the garden were sitting on a colorful carpet of autumn leaves. Many of the statues had red leaves on their shoulder or head. It was very pretty and instantly fascinated me.
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Japan is a small island nation, but we have a huge number of surprising things to discover here. Many of these delights can be found when you step off the main street onto small side paths. I really enjoy studying about and researching various aspects of traditional Japanese culture, and then sharing this information with visitors to Japan. I hope you will enjoy it, too! ARTICLE INDEX & PHOTOS: An index of most of my Japan Travel articles can be found at the entry page of my blog, and my photos are shown here. 日本はとても小さな国ですが、大通りから一本小道に入ればたくさんの発見があります。日本人が積み重ねてきた歴史を学びながら、古い建物や庭を訪ね、物語の舞台となった景色を眺めて、皆様といっしょに日本文化の奥深さを探求していきたいと思います。