Saturday, July 25, 2009

Buddhist tower

I wrote back a while ago about seeing this one tower near the Takao train station during one of my longer bike rides, and needing to make a second trip to try to track down exactly where it was. Well, I needed a third trip in order to arrive early enough to have time to go inside.

This is Mikoromo Reidou (literally "Mikoromo Soul Tower"), essentially a burial memorial, with a 200 yen ($2) entrance fee. The top floor is dedicated to someone famous within the Buddhist community, and then the next floor down has memorials to another 4 people. There's a view port where you can look out over Takao, and then the lower floors have lockers containing the remains of local people that have elected to be interred here rather than at one of the other cemeteries. Most of the lockers are empty at the moment.

This is the memorial on the 11th floor. The elevator only runs up to floor 9 and you have to walk the stairs the rest of the way up. Inside the memorial is a torch with a fake flame.

Surrounding the memorial are various symbolic statues that seem to combine Indian and Greek aesthetics.

On the floor dedicated to the other 4 people, there are a couple of rest areas, and a place for Christians to pray.

(Example of the less expensive lockers. These encircle the entire floor.)

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