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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I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for one year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for nine years, then moved to Machida, Tokyo in 2014 after meeting my Japanese partner. I love to take photos, and my Japan in Pictures Facebook page has some 40,000 followers. I have been the Regional Partner for Yamanashi Prefecture since 2014. I am enjoying exploring the prefectures around Tokyo (I like to get off the beaten track), and I hope the photos and stories I share will encourage more people to discover this wonderful country.