Map of Mt. Hiei (Hieizan) - Headquarters of Tendai Sect
Buddhism was introduced into Japan through Korea and China in the sixth century AD. As Buddhism evolved in Japan over the centuries until today, there were many different practices, thoughts and denominations of the original Buddhism was created by different Buddhist Monks.
Every Monk created and strived to better the existing set of rules and rituals to cater to the needs of that time. Each sect of Buddhism had created their own temple complexes to serve as their headquarters. Some examples of this type of holy sites are the Mt. Hiei (Hieizan, Tendai sect headquarters, see map above), Mt. Koya (Koyasan, resting place of Monk Kobo Daishi of Shingon sect) etc.
In other cases some towns and cities evolved as centers of Buddhism, as the rulers of that time, took special interest in creating a cluster of Temples and Shrines. Examples of this type of cities and towns are: Kamakura, Kyoto city, Nara etc.
Each temple complex and city has been revered as a holy site for Buddhist population of Japan and the world. In some cases these places have evolved as tourist destinations with mountain trails, hot springs and nature spots. An example of this type of situation is the Nikko National park, where you have a cluster of World Heritage Temples and Shrines, to cater to the spiritual souls and at the same time the touristy types.
In this special topic, I am going to introduce my readers many of these holy sites. Some of these holy sites refer to the Temples that I present in my website separately as Temple descriptions. Hope you enjoy this part, as you enjoy rest of my website.