Sitting next to Nachi-taisha but on a slightly lower level is a Buddhist temple of the Tendai sect Seigantoji Temple. With the fusion of Shinto and Buddhism, it was not unusual for Buddhist temples to sit side by side to Shinto shrines. But in the Meiji era as Shinto became the prominent religion in Japan, many Buddhist temples were destroyed. Originally all three of the Kumano Sanzan had accompanying Buddhist temples, but have been lost with the exception of Seigantoji Temple. The hondou (main building) is from the pre Edo era of the late 16th century. In the late Heian era as the belief that the end of the world was approaching, the custom of burying Buddhist text manuscripts arose. From a burial place within the temple grounds many Buddhist statues from the Heian era were excavated. One statue has been identified as coming from the Nara (8th century) era, which is proof that the temple has existed here from at least that time. From the temple grounds one can enjoy a spectacular view of Nachi Waterfall and the surrounding mountains.Please visit my homepage Rediscovering Japan (Wakayama) if you are interested.
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