The pleasant historical town of Matsumoto is home to plenty of monuments to its past; as well as its outstanding castle, it seems you can't turn a corner without finding an old well, a venerable shrine or temple, or some other remnant of ages past.
Close to an uncompromisingly modern Aeon shopping centre, Daisho-ji is a large Buddhist temple, worth stopping in for a look before you hit the shops. The main points of interest are the handsome wooden carvings under the eaves of the prayer hall, and the diverse population of Buddhist statues: stoical devotees and pilgrims, baby-faced temple attendants, serene Buddhist saints and deities.
The temple is about twenty minutes' walk from Matsumoto station. Head east from the station along the main street Agatanomori-dori, and turn north at the 'Bijutsukan' (art museum) traffic signal. Alternatively, you can get close to the temple by taking the eastern route on the 'Town Sneaker' bus: get off at stop 20, named Iori-reisui. If you get off at stop 19, you can also visit neighbouring temple Ryuko-ji, for which the bus stop is named.
Was this article helpful?
I came to Japan from Manchester, England in summer 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I`m not working I write satire at www.iothern.blogspot.com and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check my youtube channel `CunningPunster` for a taste.