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Posts tagged heirinji

The Peaceful Forest Temple (Heirinji or 平林寺)

tokyo area buddhist temple in forest nature japan

Heirinji (平林寺)

If you are in Tokyo and want to visit a Zen temple not too far away then Heirinji should be on your itinerary. Avoid weekends and holidays and you may be the only one wandering through this oasis.

Directions: Heirinji is about a mile walk from the Niiza Train Station (新座駅) or you can take a bus that will take you right there. Niiza is about 30 minutes and 450 yen (by train) from Ikebukuro in Tokyo.

Wrapping up Zen week

heirin-ji japan

I hope you have enjoyed this past week’s pictures of Heirinji. Let’s end the week of Zen the way I did on that day, walking through the ancient gate.

I have another hundred or so photos from the place so perhaps we’ll revisit Heirinji on this blog in the future.

More Zen

niiza city japan

View from the Sanmon… According to the sign at the base of the pine tree (高野槇) on the right, the tree is over 500 years old.

Momiji (紅葉)

buddhist gate momiji

Above is a different angle on the Sanmon. These Japanese Maples (momiji) must be even more incredible when they turn colors in the fall. However, I prefer a day like the one when we were there with no people.

heirinji bamboo japanese maple woods forest

I believe this figure is of Matsudaira Nobutsuna (松平信綱), the Daimyo responsible for the creation of this area hundreds of years before. He is made here to look like he is practicing Zen.

Heirinji Thatched Roof Gate

thatch roof japanese maple niiza city japan

Today’s first photo is of the two-storied Sanmon (山門) Gate at Heirin-Ji. Another original from the 17th Century, it was moved 25 kilometers to its present location long ago.

japanese buddhist cemetery under a blue sky

This cemetery (霊園) was one of several, and the only typical one we saw, on the grounds. One featured a large burial mound and then there was the stone lantern resting place (松平信綱墓) as well.


kumazasa 熊笹

Bamboo (竹) is the Zen plant. Bamboo is pliable but nearly unbreakable, beautiful to contemplate, and wonderful to listen to when the wind blows. Bamboo is empty on the inside, but it grows at a frightening pace.

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