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Ishiyama Temple in Otsu

Shiga Prefecture's stony mountain temple

Sometimes I can't believe that this amazing temple in Otsu is not just as famous as better known temples in Kyoto! A short train journey from Kyoto will take you to Ishiyama-dera, a large temple that is both beautiful and interesting. In Japanese "ishi" is "stone", and "yama" is "mountain". The small mountain the temple complex occupies has many attractions, but one of them is an unusual grey wave-like rock formation called a wollastonite. You can see many coins lying in the rock's cracks and crevices, thrown by temple visitors. There are several attractive buildings near the rock formation, including a twelfth century pagoda.

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