Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shiramizu Amidado

One of Iwaki's most popular sightseeing spots is Shiramizu Amidado. This temple which is also called Ganjoji is a Buddhist temple built in 1160 by Princess Tokuhime, the widow of feudal lord Norimichi. This temple which is built in typical Heian period architectural style was designated a national treasure in 1952. Interestingly it is the only building in Fukushima prefecture to be designated a national treasure.  
Clearly, Shiramizu Amidado is the oldest building still standing in Iwaki. The Amidado Hall enshrines five wooden Buddha statues- the Amida Nyorai triad, Jikokuten and Tamonten. All these are Important cultural properties.  
The beautiful garden named "Jodo Teien", which surrounds the temple draws large crowds especially in autumn when the foliage makes the place look straight out of a postcard.
 No wonder that during the Shichi Go San festival, young children in traditional attire can be seen posing for pictures with the autumn foliage as a lovely backdrop. 
The garden is popular across Japan and is laid out in the Japanese Paradise style of gardening. 

In this style, the garden is made to create a relaxing environment and peace. The usage of colours and decor in this style of gardening are minimal and the emphasis is laid on the water and rich foliage.  

To enter the temple one must cross a typical Japanese style red bridge over the large pond filled with carps and turtles.The hungry carps in the pond look expectantly at the visitors crossing the bridge for food, sold in stalls near the temple. In summer, the pond is full of lotus blooms.    
A must visit in any season for people visiting Iwaki city. 

Opening Hours: 8:30-16:00 hrs ( April-October)
                       8:30- 15:30 hrs (November-March)
                       Closed on 4th Wednesday of each month and during certain Holidays. 
Admission: Adults-400 yen, Children-250 yen. ( Entrance to the Garden - Free)
Address: 219, Hirohata, Shiramizu-machi, Uchigo, Iwaki city, Fukushima- 973-8045
Phone: 0246-26-7008 
Access: 15 mins by car from Iwaki Yumoto IC or Iwaki station.
Parking: Limited availability. 

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