Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Hateiji Temple 5 on the Iwami Kannon Pilgrimage


Hateiji Temple was rather curious. On the one hand it appeared deserted and unused, but on the other there was a recently maintained gate with some striking Nio statues.

Other than the nio, and a small bell tower there was nothing else in the grounds. It was however home to a bustling kindergarten. I have seen quite a few smaller temples and shrines that have leased or rented some of their grounds to such establishments. In cities, they often become car parks.

The Nio were quite remarkable and suggested that in earlier times the temple was more important and prosperous. Above the entrance to the main hall the signboard displayed the temple's "mountain name", possibly Toraisan, though I am informed it uses an obscure kanji character.

The paper nameslips attached to the building suggest that this was one of the temples on the original Iwami kannon Pilgrimage that started in nearby Iwami Ginzan. A list of the original pilgrimage temples included more than a third that no longer exist, probably destroyed in the anti-Buddhist violence of early Meiji.

This "new" Iwami pilgrimage I am following starts in Oda City and I am getting close to the end of my third day walking it. This newer pilgrimage is called Iwami Mandala Pilgrimage, and though it has 33 main temples, there are a rather large number of "extra" temples.


  1. Really enjoying your blog. Nice to see temples off the beaten track. Thanks :-)

  2. The Nio- are really strong !!
    thank you.

  3. Just discovered your blog from Ilahee's long-dormant one! I love seeing old Japan blogs still going. Props and respect - I miss Japan so badly and blogs like yours and Helen's and others are a comfort.