Temples and Shrines

Interesting insights into non-christian religions.

Meiji Shrine (Meiji jinja) Tokyo Japan

Gate (torii) to the Meiji Shrine, it was built to honour Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken. The circular gold coloured shapes is the chrysanthemum seal of the Imperial Family. It was built in the early twentieth century, but was destroyed during the bombing of Tokyo in World War II, what's there now was rebuilt in 1958. 

The shrine, the security officer in the picture was stopping tourists from taking pictures up where the door are. That's where the people visiting the shrine were praying, during the New Year period when Japanese people visit shrines to pray for a good year. A million people come to Meiji Shrine, it's packed! The only way to move is to shuffle with the crowd!

Barrels of sake.

The Meiji Shrine covers a large area of central Tokyo, it's 70 hectares (170 acres) and the trees were all donated at the time the shrine was constructed. The row of sake barrels are the first thing you come across as you enter the park, the barrels are offerings to the gods. Different sake breweries have donated a barrel and their names are on the barrels.

Meiji Shrine is very easy to visit, it's near Harajuku and the Harajuku station, so most tourists include a visit to the shrine with a stroll through Harajuku.

The Big Buddha, Phuket Thailand

It's a landmark that all can see on a visit to Phuket, the Big Buddha sits on top of a mountain, it's still being constructed so parts are a construction zone.

Monks offering blessings, there's an internal part to the Big Buddha statue where you can sit and hear the monks chant.

Bells under the Big Buddha statue, I liked the sound of them swaying in the breeze, being that it was on the top of a mountain, it was very breezy!

Visiting the Big Buddha you get fabulous views over the surrounding area, there's no public transport to get up there, I just got a driver and then got them to wait while I looked around.

The Temple of Heaven, Beijing China

It's a complex of buildings and the most well known is this circular building. It's the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. The building is wooden and constructed without using nails (so just dovetailing) it was restored for the Beijing Olympics and the colours are just stunning.

Inside the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests.

The temple is Taoist, and the temple area covers 267 hectares (660 acres) there are numerous buildings and a large park. The whole area is a UNESCO Heritage site, this was probably my favourite place to visit in Beijing. It's in the southeastern part of central Beijing and can be reached by subway, I caught the subway there and back with no problem. Although it did involve a lot of walking as the complex is so big!

Wat Putta Mongkon, Old Phuket Town Thailand

This temple is another location I'd list under the "Places I stumble across as I never over research where I visit". I went to Old Phuket Town because I wanted to visit the colonial Sino-Portuguese houses, I walked down Soi Romanee which is the oldest street in the area. Then came across this gorgeous temple.

Inside the temple.

The grounds are quite large and there's a school for monks there as well. I took a taxi to Thalong Road, which is the main historic street of Old Phuket Town and then found this temple by walking in the area. To get back to my resort I came back to this temple, taxi drivers park in the grounds while waiting for a fare, it just made life easier than trying to flag a taxi down in the street.

Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore

This temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore and can be found in Chinatown. It's at one end of the pedestrian street where tourists can find restaurants and shops, the original businesses were placed there to sell to the people coming in and out of the temple. The other end is the RMT station Chinatown, so this temple is very easy to find.

Walking into the temple area, again lots of colour.

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Singapore

This particular Hindu temple is located in Singapore's Little India. The original building was built in the late 1880s and was a place for immigrant workers from southern India to worship. During World War II, people used it as a refuge and it escaped the bombing of Singapore. I found it by just walking past! I loved all the detail of the sculptures, it was all so colourful.

These are some of the non christian religious buildings I've visited, and there are so many more to explore!