Largest Wooden building

Being inside this huge building in the presence of the huge Buddha and several other immense statues is something that cannot be described. As with several other temples we visited in Kyoto and Nara there is simply no explaining the profound effect of these ancient places.

This is said to be the largest wooden hall in the world and even so it is just one third of its original size. The other two thirds were on the width. It houses a huge statue of Virocana Buddha.

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Todaiji – Nara


This is a copy of a photograph showing a large ceremony in progress in the 1980’s. It give one an idea of the scale of this temple.

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Zuikoji, Seki, Mie-ken, Kansai.

This was our first visit of the day, the second one being Umpukuji in the afternoon.

The priest came and picked us up from the station in his car and was able to fit us into his busy schedule for a two hour visit. Zuikoji was the family temple of Suigan Yogo Roshi and now is run by his son and his wife. (Priests of the Soto School in Japan may marry unlike the priest in our Order.)

Suigan Roshi helped Rev. Master Jiyu with making translations of a number of chapters of the Shobogenzo both while she was living at Sojiji and also when she moved to Umpukuji. These temples are about ten miles distant from each other.

While visiting here Iain and I were each given a fan with calligraphy done by Suigan Roshi which we will both treasure.

The temple gardener was putting up a prop for a tree limb in danger of falling down and breaking. Helping elderly trees in this way is common practice in Japan.

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The main hall at Zuiko-ji. Rev. Master Jiyu would often walk over to Zuiko-ji from Umpuku-ji, a distance of about ten miles, to assist Yogo Roshi during large ceremonies.

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Thought somebody might like to see a close up of the precentors chair.

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Practice Within The Order of Buddhist Contemplatives