• Gangwon-do

    Naksansa Temple – 낙산사 (Yangyang, Gangwon-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Naksansa Temple is located in Yangyang, Gangwon-do. The name of the temple, Naksansa Temple, is an abbreviation of “Botarakgasan.” The name “Naksan,” is in reference to Mt. Potalaka, which is a mythical mountain located in the seas south of India. It’s also believed to be where Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion in English, or Avalokiteśvara in Sanskrit) lives. Mt. Potalaka means “Brilliance,” in English. Gwanseeum-bosal is said to live on an island surrounded by the sea alongside guardian dragons under Mt. Potalaka. The temple was first founded in 671 A.D. by Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.) upon his return from Tang China. Uisang-daesa was an ambassador to Tang China…

  • Gangwon-do

    Woljeongsa Temple – 월정사 (Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Woljeongsa Temple, which is located in Odaesan National Park in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do, means “Moon Vitality Temple,” in English. The temple was first founded by the famed monk Jajang-yulsa (590-658 A.D.) in 643 A.D. Mt. Odaesan (1563 m) is a transliteration of the Chinese characters for Mt. Wutai-shan, which is where Jajang-yulsa met the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Munsu-bosal. But before getting too far ahead of ourselves, and like so many other temples in Korea, Woljeongsa Temple has quite the creation myth surrounding it. In 636 A.D., and according to the Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms, circa the 1280s), Jajang-yulsa traveled to Tang China to study Buddhism.…

  • Gangwon-do

    Sinheungsa Temple – 신흥사 (Sokcho, Gangwon-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Sinheungsa Temple, which is located in Sokcho, Gangwon-do, is also situated, arguably, in Korea’s most beautiful national park: Seoraksan National Park. Sinheungsa Temple, in English, means “Spirit Arising Temple.” Sinheungsa Temple is believed to have been first built by the famed monk Jajang-yulsa (590-658 A.D.). Originally, the temple was called Hyangseongsa Temple. However, with that being said, there is some dispute as to when it was first built by Jajang-yulsa. It’s been argued that it was first built in 637 A.D. before the famed monk left to study in Tang China. And it’s also been argued that Sinheungsa Temple was built upon Jajang-yulsa’s return to the Korean…