My visit last year to Japan began at Shinpukuji Temple. Not far from Okazaki, Aichi, Shinpukuji is a collection of buildings that includes a large temple and an old wooden shrine. A restaurant on the grounds serves bamboo delicacies, and a bonsai museum offers colorful diversion. The custodian of Shinpukuji is Mr. Oomura. Oomura’s family has managed Shinpukuji for generations. Somewhere along the line, Oomura took a fancy to bonsai, and has since amassed an outstanding bonsai collection. Most tourists visiting the complex focus on the buddhist sites so we’ll start there.
Steps leading to the main temple
Main temple from the side
The restaurant lies across a footbridge that connects the temple area to the restaurant and Oomura family residence. While I’ve enjoyed the family’s meals on a number of occasions, I have yet to try their restaurant food – a must for my next trip!
Boon and ubiquitous K-car at restaurant entrance
One of the dining rooms
Bibbed statues and shrines dot the surrounding gardens making the temple a wonderful spot for a stroll.
Mr. Oomura’s grandson and Boon with bibbed Buddhist statue
The shrine is quite old for a wooden structure in Japan (I’m not sure about its age). The craftsmanship is impressive.
Next time we’ll visit the bonsai museum. If you haven’t read Peter Tea’s article about Kadomatsu at Shimpukuji, do so now – I highly recommend it!
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