Monday, March 22, 2021

The Approach to Honmyoji Temple


Honmyoji is probably the most important and most visited temple in Kumamoto City. It was built by the great warlord Kato Kiyomasa and his grave lies above the temple. After climbing an intial flight of steps you pass through the huge Niomon, a modern, concrete structure.

High up in the Niomon are a pair of Nio guardian statues, but they appear small and not at all imposing. From here a long approach heads up the slope to the temple itself.

Lining each side of the approach are twelve smaller temples called Tatchu which were originally small buildings that interred the ashes of head priests but which grew into small sub-temples.

The route is lined with many stone lanterns, and a few of the temples have statues and small gardens. I visited on  Saturday November 39th, 2013 on the 46th day of my walk around Kyushu and so there was still plenty of autumn foliage to be seen.