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Sekizan Zen-in

Sekizan Zen-in (赤山禅院) is a Tendai school affiliated Buddhist temple located near Shūgaku-in Imperial Villa. It is closely connected to Mt. Hiei’s Enryaku-ji, the head temple of the Tendai school. As such, Sekizan Zen-in is the first temple that monks undergoing training at Enryaku-ji are visiting on each of their 1000-day pilgrimages. Sekizan Zen-in is especially beautiful in late autumn, on rainy evenings. If you are lucky, you will get deep red maple foliage and a blooming autumn-Sakura next to each other. Sekizan Zen-in is of interest to those who seek to learn about how religious spaces in Japan changed. Prior to the Meiji period (1868–1912), a separation into Buddhist temples and Shintō shrines was uncommon. Japanese religion had been, since ancient times, highly syncretistic. It was only during the Meiji period, that a policy of “separating the Buddha from the Kami” led to a change in these perceptions, resulting in a wide-scale destruction of Buddhist artifacts in order to create Shintō spaces free of Buddhist influence. Sekizan Zen-in is of interest because here, the syncretistic nature of Japanese religion — Buddhism, Shintō, Yamabushi, and other esoteric concepts — is kept intact. Admission: free, opening early (6AM). Nearby places of interest: Shūgakuin Imperial Villa, Manshu-in.
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Maple foliage and autumn cherry blossom at Sekizan Zen-in.

Summer / 夏
Autumn / 秋
Winter / 冬
Festival (5 May) / 祭
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