Friday, October 14, 2011


Manidera is a mountain temple on Maniyama not far from Tottori City and the Tottori sand dunes.
Established on the top of the mountain in 834, it was later rebuilt a little lower.


After parking the car there is still a lot of steps to climb. The temple is one of 4 "special" temples of the Chugoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage, though it is not numbered. So really there are 37.


Hideyoshi destroyed the temple in the late 16th Century as part of his campaign against the local Mori Clan. Later when Tottori was established as a castle town the Daimyo rebuilt Manidera as the Kimon of the castle to protect the castle from the spiritually dangerous NE direction.


The Temple belongs to the Tendai sect, and the main enshrined deities are Senju Kannon, the thousand-armed Kannon, and Taishakuten, originally a Hindu deity that once incorporated into Buddhism is known as the commander of the Shitenno, the four heavenly kings.


The water flowing around the base of the statue of Kannon in the courtyard is known as healing water and people come from far and wide for it.
Whereas women were forbidden from entering many temples, ie Enryakuji on Mt Hie or Koyasan, women were allowed here so was particularly popular.


Partway u the stairway to the temple you pass through an impressive Niomon gate with guardian statues.


  1. Wauw, looks like a very interesting place. The stairs seem to be difficult.


  2. it is a very atmospheric place.... as many mountain temples are...... but you have to climb :)

  3. This too was always one of my favorite places. There is fantastic 'shojin ryori' there. I especially liked punning on the name, "Manly Dera."

  4. Fantastic photos. Ah, its all the convolutions around the concept of "bangai" that make Japanese pilgrimages so hard to pin down.

  5. Behind the temple is a trailhead - or was, thirty years ago - that takes you up the mountain. At the top, I remember a huge boulder with a chain attached. The veiw from atop the boulder is magnificent.

    1. Thanks for that info..... if I get back there I will certainly check it out