Jiin (寺院)：Buddhist temples
寺院： Buddhist temples
(Photo : Naritasan Shinsyouji Tempe by Mr.Matsu)
A temple is the building where Buddhist statues are enshrined and priests work and live. The characters 寺院 （jiin ）in Chinese’s respectively represent government office and official residence. Since Buddhism first arrived in Japan in the 6th century, the Buddhist culture has thrived due to envoys to the Asian continent and visitors to Japan.
Temples that are famous in Japan such as Todaiji, Kohukuji, and Horyuji in Nara were built in the 700s. Temples then spread throughout Japan.
Temple architecture that incorporated features still seen in Japanese housing such as foundation stones, earth floors, raised floors, framework, and tiled roofs also came to Japan at the same time. There are various temple styles including Chinese (highly decorated), Indian (exposed ceiling beams), and Japanese (simple decoration, built on a raised foundation).
Temples are important to Japanese people, especially at the end and beginning of a new year. Cemeteries are usually connected with temples.