This is one of the most beautiful temples we have seen in all of Japan. It is huge with lovely surrounding gardens. We walked from JR station. It is a slightly uphill walk but reasonably easy even if unfit. It takes around 30 minutes but there are plenty of buses that take you up from the station for ¥150. The buses are clean marked. We strolled up and back. You can see a lot for free but we paid the ¥500 to enter and we had a lovely English speaking gentleman explain the history of the temple. You get to go underground and walk through a tunnel of pure darkness. They believe that this is what life after death is like until you enter paradise. There is a door you feel for in the darkness and it signifies the door to paradise. There are some lovely shops leaving up to the buildings selling many food items and souvenirs. We picked up some chili and apple Kit Kats. Try the local delicacy Okayi, a bun stuffed with various vegetables, steamed then baked. I tried mushroom and radish which was delicious but slightly greasy. Be sure to schedule Zenkoji into your visit to Nagano.
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