This temple in Machida City has a large, impressive gate with beautifully carved mythical creatures. There are shishi, which are the same creature as koma-inu (the 'lion-dogs' that guard the approach to Shinto shrines) and are believed to have protective powers. There are also baku, strange animals with elephant trunks and tiger's paws, that are believed to eat nightmares, and to complete this mythical menagerie there are also dragons.
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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.