「レッツゴー キャム!」Cam, Ikuzo! Come follow Camden’s journey! July 2023


Visiting Hondoji Temple

In mid-June I was able to meet two of my friends (one from Spain and the other from Korea) from my college years for the first time in 5 years. There is something special about Japan being the place that brought the 3 of us back together, despite none of us being Japanese. During the period where the three of us were staying in Matsudo, a volunteer group that does guides for tourists known as the Matsudo Takumi City Guide Volunteers was holding a guide at the Hondoji Temple in Matsudo City so the three of us applied and participated in the tour.


I had visited Hondoji Temple once before, but that time was during the night. This time going on a midday afternoon in June really let me appreciate the sheer size of the temple’s grounds, as well as the lovely blooming ajisai (hydrangea) flowers. In between the flower beds were many paths, so you can walk your way to the middle of the heaven-like flower garden which had ajisai flowers spanning far and wide. I took a video of me walking down one of those paths, so please check it out!

Within the temple’s grounds, you'll find a shrine with a torii gate, an 18-meter-tall pagoda (goju-no-to) and a Buddhist altar enshrined outside called “Benten-do” among other structures. Each of them are surrounded by nature, giving each place within the temple’s grounds a healing effect that was a joy to walk through. If you take a look at the picture directly below, you can see the “Benten-do” altar in the middle of the nature. Benten-do is built on top of a small island within a small pond, and it is comprised of a “zushi,” which is a miniature Buddhist shrine with double doors, that is being protected from wind and rain by a roof. “Zushi” are typically placed indoors, so seeing something I have not seen too often in the middle of nature surrounded by Hondoji’s greenery was very special. That greenery will be turning red near the end of November, so I am excited to go back to Hondoji so I can see an autumn scenery reminiscent of my home in American (the state of Maine).

Thanks to the Matsudo Takumi City Guide Volunteers I was able to deepen my knowledge of Matsudo’s history (particularly that of the Kita-Kogane area), and because they did the entire tour in English, my two friends were able to enjoy the time they spent there as well. Whether it is a day of clear skies or even a rainy day, you will still be able to enjoy Hondoji temple’s amazing scenery, so consider taking a visit yourself!







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「レッツゴー キャム!」Cam, Ikuzo! Come follow Camden’s journey!







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