The southern end of the city is home to the Oomoto Headquarters, Baishoen (translated as “garden of plum and pine trees”), a religious sect founded in Ayabe in 1892 and is surrounded by tranquility. Visitors can view a large number of valuable buildings, including the Mirokuden, designated a tangible cultural asset of Japan; the main worship hall, Choseiden, said to be one of the largest wooden structures in the 20th Century; and the Konohanaan, also designated an important cultural property of Japan. The traditional Japanese gardens are beautifully maintained, making it a popular power spot for visitors to feel close to nature. Baishoen (Oomoto Ayabe Spiritual Center) Oomoto Oomoto is a religion with Shinto roots that was founded in Ayabe in 1892. Baishoen, also known as the Oomoto Ayabe Spiritual Center, is the birthplace of Oomoto worship. The grounds feature green gardens and buildings of notable architecture, and are open to visitors. Mirokuden (Hall of Supreme Love and Compassion) Mirokuden is an Oomoto worship hall that was constructed in 1953 and is Baishoen’s oldest building. This massive open hall has a steel frame construction, has Japanese cypress woodwork throughout, and over 1,400 square meters of floorspace. Glass paneled sliding doors line three sides of the building, many of which contain the original hand-blown glass panes from 1953. The roof is covered in copper shingles and was designed with a steep pitch to prevent snow accumulation, with a pent roof (mokoshi) below the main roof. Mirokuden was designated a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan in 2014. As the number of Oomoto followers grew, large ceremonies were moved to Choseiden hall in 1992. Choseiden is said to be one of the largest wooden structures in the 20th Century, meanthile worshippers still use Mirokuden to pray for their ancestors and the victims of war and disaster around the world. Konohanaan This mid-seventeenth-century thatched farmhouse was once the property of the Okahana family, but it was moved to the Oomoto Ayabe Spiritual Center for preservation in 1971. The house is a precious example of farmhouse architecture and it was registered as an Important Cultural Property of Japan in 1972. It has four rooms: a kitchen with a cooking hearth and sink; a living space with a central hearth (irori); a tatami room, which was used to welcome guests and for silkworm cultivation; and an area where livestock were kept under the same roof. Oomoto members open the house every 5 days to light the hearth and care for the building. Visitors wishing to see the inside should make an appointment.
|Access||20mins walk from the South Exit of JR Ayabe Station|
|Remark||Bookings are required to see inside the shrines.|