Temple 75: Zentsū-ji

Top choice Buddhist Temple

in Zentsuji

Zentsū-ji, Temple 75 of the sacred 88, is the largest of the temples – most of the other 87 could fit in its car park. This is where Kōbō Daishi was born, and the temple boasts a magnificent five-storey pagoda and giant camphor trees that are said to date back as far as Daishi's childhood. The temple is about 1.5km from the JR Zentsuji Station.

Visitors can venture into the basement of the Mie-dō and traverse a 100m-long passageway (戒壇めぐり; ¥500; 8am to 5pm) in pitch darkness. By moving carefully along with your hand pressed to the passageway's wall (painted with mandalas, angels and lotus flowers), you are said to be safely following Buddha's way.