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We visited Mt. Shigi on February 12th

Today we visited Chogosonji temple atop Mt.Shigi to meet with the three chief priests.

Mt.Shigi, located on the prefectural border between Osaka and Nara, is the sacred place where Bishamonten first appeared in Japan. There is a temple called “Chogosonji Temple”, which was founded by Prince Shotoku in 587.

Over 1400 years ago, when Prince Shotoku prayed for victory on this mountain during his subjugation of the Mononobe clan, King Bishamonten appeared in the sky and led him to victory.

When King Bishamonten appeared, it was simultaneously the year, day and time of the tiger (in the Chinese calendar), so the tiger became a sacred animal and was thereafter enshrined at the temple.

Thousands of stone lanterns illuminate the precincts at night, creating a spectacle of magic and wonder.

Bishamonten is the god of war with a centipede as his trusty familiar.  Featured on the main shrine and decorating the roads that lead to it are flags bearing the symbol of the centipede.

This temple is designed to be a place where you can receive many blessings, just like a Buddhist Disnyland.

The main hall at the top of the mountain offers a panoramic view of the Nara Basin.

On the way home, we enjoyed some coffee at the stylish AUN COFFEE that opened in front of the Niomon Gate of Shitennouji in Osaka, and then headed to the bar area at Shitennouji Station.  

There is a long line of people at a popular restaurant, and there is a sign next to the restaurant offering free Sake and asking customers in line to “Please feel free to drink while you wait”

Offering free alcohol to people waiting for a table is one thing, but advertising free alcohol for lining up seems like an odd choice. In Osaka maybe its normal, but you won’t ever see anything like this in Tokyo.