The Beautifully Carved Kangiin Shodendo Main Hall
- Due to a number of fires, the Kangiin Shodendo has burned down and been rebuilt a few times over its millennium or so in existence. The building currently standing was built between 1735 and 1760, and still impresses visitors from around the world. The big draw for travelers is the careful carving applied to the outer walls of the structure. Architect Ginpachiro Ishihara, who had connections to the renovators of Nikko Toshogu, directed the construction of decorations featuring little characters going about daily life, animals exploring the space, and much more.
- We can thank renovations and repairs that finished about a decade ago for the excellent condition of these beautiful carvings. Moving around the walls, you'll clearly see really varied scenes depicted in startling detail, with nary an inch untouched. We enjoyed this little vignette of ladies playing what looks like a game of backgammon. Just look at the exquisite patterning on that robe! And the expression on the face of that disdainful demon sitting nearby.
- Admission to the hall, where you'll see the beautiful carvings, will cost you 700 yen. If you or a friend speaks Japanese, try to get there between 10:00 and 16:00, when local volunteers give tours and tell you more about the temple's lengthy history. The temple is, after all, both gorgeous and historic!
Menuma Shodenzan Kangiin (妻沼聖天山歓喜院)
Address: 1511 Menuma, Kumagaya, Saitama
Access: From Kumagaya Station, take a bus and get off at Shoden-mae bus stop.
Hours: 10:00 - 16:30
Admission: 700 yen
More Nearby, in Saitama:
Nagatoro River Rafting
Ippon Udon - Single Noodle Udon
Be sure to look out for more exciting articles every day at JAPANKURU!
Or add us on Instagram and Facebook to share your pictures of Japan. 🗾