Zenkoji Temple 善光寺

Must-See temple in Nagano City


When you are in Nagano City, this is a must-see temple in this town.

As the map below shows, it’s 30min walk from Nagano station. Pretty straight forward to get there, with lots of signs on side walks pointing the direction towards there.

There are nice cafes, souvenir shops and so on along the way so it will be a nice pleasant walk for you.

There are also buses to take you there too if you would prefer that way.

Zenkoji Temple 善光寺

Here’s the Link to TripAdvisor Review.

It says “#1 Attraction out of 113 in Nagano City”.

So I’m not the only one saying that.

For ¥500, you can also go inside the main temple building and some other places.

The Difference Between Buddhisma and Shinto in Japan

Buddhism was born in India then brought to China then imported and introduced to Japan in the 6th century. Temples are for Buddhism.

Shinto is a native belief of Japan, I don’t even know how long there has been within Japanese culture… Since… Ages ago. Shirines represent Shinto.

Realistically these 2 different beliefs have been happily married and morphed into one, and engraved within Japanese culture so it is quite often very hard for Japanese people themselves to disguish these two.


Its history seems a little obscured by the long history since the origin.

Here’s the Link To Wikipedia in English for those who love to find out about this place more.

Basically it was originally built in 644AD in a lot smaller scale.

Then through centuries of wars it went through getting burned down so many times, the present structure was rebuilt 1707 and been there since.

Yes, in Medieval Age there were lots of wars in Japan for power and land and food.

Important Tip for visiting temples and shrines in Japan

It is highly advised to do a bit of homework or research to learn the history of what entails to the place you are visiting. Especially when you visit temples and shrines, they will be just another “Wooden Structure” if you don’t know the stories behind them.

I had a few occasions in the past personally, feeling like I’m just looking at another temple or shrine when I didn’t know the history behind them.

Quite often, there are some powerful warlords who built or had influences on the beginning, wars amongst clans and so on.

Anyway, when you are there keep your eyes on

1, Traditional Japanese wooden structural engineering
2, Tidiness and neatness of the surrounding garden
3, How Japanese people behave within these tradional places

Hope you will enjoy your experience there!See you next time.

Today’s Phrase

Nihon No Otera Ya Jinjya Ga Daisuki Desu 日本のお寺や神社が大好きです = I love Japanese temples and shrines

Keep on Trying! People will be impressed!

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