If you're in Utsunomiya and visiting its main sight, the impressive hilltop shrine of Futaarayama, then you might also pop into this neighbouring Buddhist temple. It's just a small place, but it's attractively green and peaceful, and around the main hall and in the graveyard you'll find a population of interesting statues.
Some of them are traditional Buddhist figures, ancient and serene; while in the graveyard between the entrance gate and worship hall, there are six plump, semi-abstract statues arranged in a crescent on pedestals, looking to me more like modern art than properly reverent grave markers.
Then if you head round to the rear of the main hall, you'll find a compact garden, with a small pond and an early-blooming cherry-blossom tree, according to the friendly woman I found working there. And if you're there at the right time, you might catch one of their events or occasional yoga classes.
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