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Oya Temple, Near Utsunomiya

Standing in the shadows of Buddha

To stand in the shadow of Buddha is to stand in the gaze of the eternal beyond. At Oya temple outside Utsunomiya city in Tochigi Prefecture, there are two shadows to choose from: one 88 feet high, the other 1,200 years old. Inside its main hall, Oya Temple features a 9th century rock carving of a figure which is reportedly the oldest Buddhist image in Japan. Outside, the awe inspiring Haiwa Kannon, or "Peace" Kannon, pierces the sky, silencing most visitors that stand at its feet.

Linger long enough at Oya Temple, and you'll feel a tangible energy, that indescribable, subtle stillness in the air that all who've been to Japan know. Make sure to give yourself an afternoon to enjoy the entire place. The reward is a profound and lasting peace of mind.  

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