Sazae-do is a construction equally spectacular outside as it is on the inside. Its unusual appearance is due to the fact that there are no floors inside, just a double-helix staircase, an architecture unique in Japan.
The building was designed more than 200 yeas ago by the priest Ikudou, who inspired by an English book decided to use the double-helix staircase to create a temple that will be the equivalent of a pilgrimage to 33 Kannon temples. The visitors were climbing the staircase, reaching the top and descending on a unique, one-way path, while passing by each of the 33 statues. The building is perfectly preserved and can be visited inside, just the statues were removed some time after the Meiji Restoration.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: