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Akishino-dera Temple, built around 780 by the Emperor Konin and rebuilt following a fire in the 12th century, is most famous for its serene moss garden. The temple is best known for its natural setting, highlighted by the verdant moss garden. Working in tandem with the wooded landscape, the garden accentuates its surroundings.

Visiting Akishino-dera is an enriching experience for anyone interested in Japanese history and culture. The temple’s serene ambiance makes it a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. The moss garden is a unique feature of the temple and is carefully maintained to create a peaceful atmosphere. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the garden, appreciating the beauty of the moss-covered stones and listening to the gentle sound of flowing water.

One of the most significant buildings in Akishino-dera is the Hondō. It is a National Treasure and epitomises the Wayō style. The Hondō is a five by four bay building with a raised platform, earthen floor, tiled hipped roof, and slightly narrower intercolumniation at each end. It was built on the site of the former lecture hall and is a Kamakura-period rebuild in somewhat archaizing style. Inside, a raised altar platform is backed by an internal wall that spans three bays. The Hondō was dismantled for repair and reconstruction in 1899.

Akishino-dera’s history is fascinating and dates back over a thousand years. It is said that the temple was founded in 780 by Emperor Konin as a place to enshrine a statue of the Eleven-Headed Kannon Bodhisattva. Throughout its history, the temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, including a fire in the 12th century that led to its reconstruction. The temple has also been patronized by many prominent figures throughout its history, including the Tokugawa Shogunate.

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