Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Way To Kora Taisha


While studying maps to set my route as I walked from Kurume Naritasan and the Giant Kannon back to Kurume where I was based for several days I noticed a large mountaintop shrine and so decided on a route that would take me to it.

I must admit that I had never heard of Kora Taisha before. Taisha means Grand Shrine and so it is and was an important shrine. In fact it was the Ichinomiya for the province.

It was a huge temple-shrine complex that while centered on the main buildings near the top of the mountain, had numerous shrines and temples scattered around the base and on the route up to the main shrine.

It is now possible to drive all the way up to Kora Taisha, but I chose to take the stairway that was the original route. I don't particularly enjoy climbing, but it is the only way to get to the top.

There are several small shrines at special trees and rocks on the way up. At its peak more than 1,000 people lived and worked within the shrine, and that included more than 300 Buddhist monks.

Almost all of the Buddhist temples, structures, pagodas, etc that once were here have all been removed, though a couple of gates still remain.

There are also numerous Torii on the way up. The large stone torii at the bottom of the mountain was built in the 17th century, though the other along the way up are not that old.

Next post I will show you around the main shrine, which is said to be one of the largest in Kyushu. I will also delve a little more into the Buddhist legacy.

For those who drive up there is just one Torii to walk through from the parking lot. Coming up the original stairway is I think about 1.5 kilometers.

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