Saturday, December 2, 2023

Ishiteji Temple Part 4


This is the last of four posts on the colorful and chaotic Ishiteji Temple in Matsuyama, Ehime.

The first post looked at the entrance and main part of the temple. The second looked at the tunnel leading to the okunoin, the "inner temple".

The third looked at the tunnel coming back from the Okunoin, and this post looks at some of the other halls and the area around the Treasure Hall.

The honzon of Ishiteji is a Yakushi Nyorai, a so-called Medicine Buddha, but there were numerous halls and altars to a variety of Kannons.

There were also a few of the kind of wooden carvings that populated the tunnels and okunoin.

While paintings can be seen at some temples, there seemed to be a lot more here...

The Treasure Hall is open as a museum with an entrance fee and is worth a visit.

It is located in a quieter part of the temple with some vegetation and much fewer people.

There are several walls with relief carving done in Indian style.....

Though a major temple on the 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage, Ishiteji does not have a Shukubo, paid temple lodgings, though when I visited ten years ago there was a tsuyado, a free place to stay for walking pilgrims, but I have no idea if that still exists.

For information on the temple's history and about the various historical buildings, see Part 1.

For those with an interest in actual history, rather than legend, I did read that it is believed Ishiteji was te center of a local yamabushi pilgrimage that later became joined up with several others and eventually became the 88 temple pilgrimage of later..

The previous post in this series was Ishiteji Temple Part 3. The previous temple on the pilgrimage was temple 50, Hanta-ji.

Friday, December 1, 2023



By mid afternoon I reached my destination for the day, a fishermans minshuku on the waterfront of Kitagami Bay, itself an inlet of Omura Bay.

I was not quite halfway between Nagasaki and Sasebo and could have carried on for a few more hours walking, but I had a room booked for the night. I was the only guest, I guess early March is not prime fishing season.

Unusually, the harbour's little shrine was just offshore.....

There were only very small boats operating out of this little harbour, and i have no idea what bthey would have fished for...

Forced to idly sit on the dock of the bay and watch the sun slowly set....

The previous post was on the walk from Togitsu to Nagaura

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Ishiteji Temple Part 3


In this third part to my post on Ishiteji Temple in Matsuyama, I show scenes from inside the Okunoin and then the second tunnel leading back to the main temple.

In PART 1 I looked at the entrance to the temple and some of the main buildings and also gave plenty of historical details.

In PART 2 I looked at the tunnel leading through the hillside and the approach to this Okunoin.

The inside of the unusual, spherical, okunoin is filled with many of the same kind of "folk" statues that were encountered in the tunnel.

The majority seem to represent the rakan, the 500 disciples of the Buddha that are often found as a group of statues at some temples.

There were other statues though, representing other bodhisattvas, buddhas, deities, etc

There seems to be quite an atmosphere of strangeness that some visitors seem to have found disturbing

I found it quite wonderful, like a huge, free, sculpture museum....

Leaving the Okunoin, I took a different tunnel back to the main temple

This had the same kinds of statues as the first tunnel, including many "standard" ones

As well as another chapel-altar covered in bibs

There were also paintings on some walls 

Before emerging once again into the sunlight in the main temple compound....

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Togitsu to Nagaura


Togitsu Town is situated at the southern end of Omura Bay in Nagasaki, and lined up at the waters edge were these four Ebisu statues. My guess is that they were collecetd from various points along the Nagasaki Kaido as it passes through what is now Togitsu.

The presence of a Honjin here shows a Nagasaki Kaido passed through here, and Ebisu statues are common along Nagasaki Kaidos in nearby areas.

I was taking the road that ran up the West side of the bay while the train line ran up the East side through Huis Ten Bosch. I came upon this remarkable little house with imaginative geometry.

I have been unable to find out anything about it or who the architect was.

The main road was still pretty built-up and busy but for much of the way Iwas able to take a smaller broad along the hillside where I visited quite a few shrines.

There were an awful lot of Love Hotels along the way. Not yet halfway between Nagasaki and Sasebo, I guess they were serving the Nagasaki market. They were more upmarket and modern than the  type of love hotel I usually encountered in rural areas.

Nagaura, a little fishing harbour about halfway up the bay, was where I had a room booked for the night, and as I headed up the narrow inlet to get there it became much less built-up and quieter.

The previous post on day 64 of my Kyushu walk was on Togitsu Inari Shrine.