Suma Dera Temple

I’ve written about Sumadera before. It’s a local temple near the beach in Kobe. Although it is apparently historically important I have never seen it in any kind of write-up or guidebook before. This is a shame because it’s one of my all time favourite temples. It’s really quirky and full of unusual little things that I have never seen at another temple. It’s big too and thus it&s very easy to spend an entire afternoon wandering around and marvelling at all the cool things.

Since I’ve already posted some stuff about it this post is mostly just to show off some pictures that I didn’t show last time. So enjoy the wholly unique Sumadera.

Even statues get cold.

Is that a Buddha with…balloons???

This wall was very cool. It was entirely composed of these plates featuring sculpted images of Buddha.

And here we have a rock.

A big holy rock.

And some kind of mace.

No idea.

One thing I missed when I went to the temple the last time was all the intricate carvings on the roofs and ceilings of the temple. Some of these are amazingly detailed.

The eyes are made of glass.

Sumadera was the scene of a famous battle between two Samurai clans. These statues depict a famous moment in that battle. Suma, the beach, has been the subject of more than a few great pieces of Japanese literature, including “The Tale of Genji.” Genji is probably the most famous and important piece of literature in Japan (as well as being the world’s first novel) so one of these days I should probably read it. I particularly like the waves and sand created by painting gravel.

There was lots of plum blossom in the temple garden which is always welcome.

Very cool pagoda. Quite newish I’m guessing.

An actual lion. Not a lion dog but an honest to god lion.


Ah, a lion-dog. Back to normal then.

Ah I remember him. The most phallic head I have ever seen.

More lion-dogs and this time a really bizarre one. I’m getting a distinctly Indian vibe from it.

These two bears are grave markers for a kid’s grave. Whenever anyone walked past them they played a song.


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