Not far from our home in Hwasoon is a temple known as Unjusa. Besides being in a typically beautiful spot for a temple, it has a rather unique legend attached to it. Long ago, some superstitious Koreans decided that the peninsula was unbalanced, with more mountains in the southeastern areas than the southwest. To prevent the country from capsizing, thousands of stone Buddha statues and pagodas were erected in the southwest. Unjusa was apparently one of the pivotal balance points, because at one point it boasted the largest amassing of pagodas and statuary in the country. Despite periodic sackings by the Japanese, Unjusa still has an impressive collection. We headed over there one overcast Saturday afternoon with our former teaching colleague from Taejon, Cho Sang-mi, who was visiting for the weekend.
We made our second trip to Unjusa with our buddies Scott and Noelle sometime in the early summer of 2000. All the sights there are tough to resist as photo subjects, so here are several more shots of the place.
We went back to this temple a third time for the Buddha's Birthday 2001 festivities. Just as we'd seen on this holiday in the two previous years, there were lanterns strung up all over the grounds, which we all helped to light as darkness fell. It was a gorgeous spring day and an even more beautiful evening as the candles lit up the valley. We had a great time, and even got a few decent pictures of the lanterns in the darkness.