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Adashino Nembutsu-ji Review
The most unusual feature of this temple is the cemetery, where about 8,000 stone Buddhas are packed together, a solemn sea of quiet mourners. The statues honor the vast number of nameless dead who fell victim to the tumult of pre-Edo Japan and were burned here in mass pyres. The temple's main hall, built in 1712, contains an arresting statue of Amida Buddha carved by Kamakura-era sculptor Tankei. On August 23 and 24, a ceremony called Sento-kuyo is held here, with more than 1,000 candles lighted for the peaceful repose of ancestor spirits. Whatever time of year you visit, make sure to come in late afternoon, when the shadows beneath the statues take on animated character. From Kyoto Station, take Bus 72 to Arashiyama Toriimoto.
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