Attraction > Temple
Zenko-ji or Zenkoji or Zenko Ji (in Japanese: 善光寺) is a Buddhist temple in Nagano, Japan. It is one of Japan's most important Buddhist temples because it stores the FIRST Buddhist statue ever to be brought into Japan. The commandments of the temple require absolute secrecy of this statue, prohibiting it to be shown to anyone, including the chief priest of the temple! However, a replica of the statue called "Maedachi Honzon" was built and it can be shown publicly once every six years. The most recent display of "Maedachi Honzon" was in April and May of 2015. Zenko-ji was built in the 7th century and Nagano City, established in 1897, was originally a town built around the temple. Most major cities in Japan were either built around a harbor, a castle or a temple/shrine... Nagano is a "Temple City" because the original town was built around Zenko-ji.