I was taking a friend around the local hiking spot I had discovered not too far from my work (referenced here) when we stumbled upon a temple.
|Maybe 2 miles from where I live|
These aren't that rare, on the contrary they are quite common, but there's nothing quite like the first time you find a temple, especially when you aren't looking for it. It's a special thing, and without sounding too spiritual you can feel a holy air in your environment. A temple usually has about 4 to 5 structures, of which I know little about.
The picture below though is something that almost all temples have, which its opening gate, which is said to be Buddha's Gate to Enlightenment. I'm not certain, but I think the stone totems to the left are burial markers.
The following are photos of interiors and exteriors of some of the buildings in this temple of which I do not know much about.
Temples are not a place of stagnant history. It is a place where people will come to pray. They will put down a pillow and bow to the Buddha statue. On Sundays a monk will chant and the chants will play over the loudspeakers throughout the temple grounds. They offer temple stays where you can stay the night and do things like enjoy a tea ceremony and make paper lotuses. When I we visited, some people walked up to us and gave us free rice cakes.
|Woman praying to a stone Buddha statue.|
Paper lotuses hang from the ceiling.
Later on, on a different day, with a different friend, I hiked to the top of this small, hilled hiking area and got some decent views of Changwon.