Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Cimbing Up to Iwaya-ji Temple in Winter

Iwayaji, temple 45 on the Shikoku Ohenro pilgrimage is a favorite of many pilgrims. It is a mountain temple at more than 600 meters altitude ( 700 if you include the okunoin) and is considered a nansho, a difficult to reach temple.

However, a main road ( and a bus) gets to the base of the final climb up which is less than 1k

There is a group of small shops near the start of the ascent selling pilgrim supplies and snacks etc. There are also a pair of bronze nio, not housed in a Nio gate. There is a Nio gate up near the main buildings of the temple but it is on a mountain path that approached from a different direction.

The Sanmon, mountain gate, was not built until 1937, is a good spot to rest as the sections before and after the gate are steep.

There are some giant sugi trees, and much of the surrounding forest is Horse Chestnut.

There are a lot of statues on the way up including a Fudo myo with 36 acolytes (more of Fudo in a later post), a Kobo Daishi, and many Jizo.

Just before reaching the main temple buildings, you pass the Kokuzo-do, actually the oldest remaining structure of the temple following a fire in 1898.

Next up some shots from the main temple.


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