Adashino Nenbutsu-ji is a Buddhist temple located on a hill overlooking Kyoto from the northwest. It sits in an area where since the Heian period people abandoned the bodies of the dead, leaving them exposed to the elements. Receiving no tombstone or proper burial, their souls were honored by stone Buddhas statuettes.
It takes about 30-minute to walk from Saga Arashiyama station, past souvenir shops and noodle restaurants, before reaching the small hill. The primary focus of the temple is the extraordinary field of these 8,000 roughly-carved stone Buddhas.
On August 23 and 24, during the Buddhist ceremony called “Sento-kuyo”, more than 1,000 candles are lit around these stone monuments and statues in honor of the spirits of the deads.