"Buddhists in Japan needed new shrines or to renovate old ones and we accepted orders from them to make the structures ," said Made Sudiana, a handicraft exporter on Tuesday.
The Balinese craftsmen make the Buddhist shrines from fine wood according to specifications from the Japanese buyers and send them to Japan in knocked-down condition.
Asked at what produce the shrines were exported to Japan, Made declined to mention the figure, saying shrines could not be commercialized.
"We do not commercialize our shrine making activity," said Made, adding he was also making other handicraft articles for customers in Japan.
Religious shrines have now become part of Bali`s ready-made Bali-style house exports. The destination countries, beside Japan, are the USA, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
"The prospects of Balinese-style wooden house exports are quite good and do not seem to be affected by the global crisis," said I Putu Bagiada, head of the export division of Bali`s trade and industry office.
This was proven by Bali`s foreign exchange earnings from the exports which posted a significant increase in 2011, he added.
In the period January-June 2011, Bali exported 624 Balinese style wooden houses resulting in an income of US$2,1 million or up 68.5 percent from US$ 1.2 million in the same period in 2010.
The wooden structures went to the United States, Turkey, Fiji Island, Tonga, South Africa, Panama, and Australia.