TOKYO, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- An investigation has been launched by police after graffiti was discovered at numerous locations at Zenkoji Temple in central Japan, local media reported Monday.
According to the reports, police in Nagano Prefecture were contacted by temple officials on Sunday who reported that acts of vandalism had taken place.
The police subsequently found markings on the temple's pillars, walls, a gate, a storage building for sutras and other places in eight of the temple's buildings.
The police said they found at least 30 white crosses, or x-marks, made with a white pen, at various locations around the ancient temple, part of which is designated as a national treasure in Japan.
The marks measured about 12 centimeters square and were made recently, the police said, although they were unsure as to exactly when, Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported.
The temple, a popular tourist attraction, has its compound open to the public 24 hours a day.
The incident is reminiscent of a similar act of vandalism that took place at the temple 9 years ago and saw graffiti spray-painted in the temple's main hall.
The iconic temple in Japan is believed to have been built in the seventh century.