Showing posts with label nachi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nachi. Show all posts

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Seiganto-ji Temple at Nachi

The Nyorindo, the main hall of Seiganto-ji, the Tendai temple that is the "buddhist" part of the shrine-temple complex at Nachi, next to the highest waterfall in Japan. The current main hall dates to 1587 and was built by Hideyoshi after the original buildings had been razed by Oda Nobunaga. It's the oldest extant building in the southern part of the Kii Peninsula.

I was here because it is the first temple on the Saigoku Pilgrimage dedicated to Kannon, and probably the oldest pilgrimage route in Japan. According to the legend it was founded in the 4th Century by a monk from India. In the first years of Meiji Buddhism and Shinto were forcibly and artificially seperated but still today the complex occupies the same space.

En No Gyoja, legendary founder of Shugendo, an ecelectic mix of Daoism, Mountain worship, Shinto, and esoteric Buddhism. Seigantoji is part of the Kumano Sanzan, the three sites in the Kumano region that were a major center for Shugendo in historical times.

It's a fairly large complex spread over the mountainside. Previous posts include the trail leading up to the complex, the shrine complex right next door, and of course the pagoda with waterfall behind.

Above the main hall is the Nyohodo, the Hall of Lanterns, dedicated to Daikoku, one of the 7 Lucky Gods.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Nachi Taisha

Kumano Nachi Taisha is one of the three Kumano shrines that are the focus of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes in the Kii peninsula of Wakayama.

The Nachi Taisha complex is on a hillside overlooking Nachi Waterfall, the highest in Japan, and an object of veneration since ancient times.

It is believed that the shrine was originally closer to the falls. The identity of the kami enshrined is quite complex.

Seiganto-ji temple was part of the complex until being somewhat separated from the shrine.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Nachi Cliche

Ranking up there with a bullet train in front of Mount Fuji, a geisha in Gion, a tunnel of torii at Fushimi Inari, and sunset at the floating torii of Miyajima, the pagoda with Nachi Falls behind it is a full fledged Japan photo cliche.....

So here are a few of mine.....

Taken on the first day of my walk along the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage, the first few days of which follow the Kumano Kodo....

Earlier that morning I had visited Fudarakusan Temple where monks would set of on suicide boat journeys,..... earlier today I was reading that monks used to jump off from the top of the falls as another way to quickly reach Kannons paradise...

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Daimonzaka is the slope that leads up from the valley floor towards Nachi Taisha Shrine, Seigantoji, and the Nachi Falls. Most people now take the modern road.

Daimonzaka means "Great Gate Slope", though the gate has long since disappeared, the path is flanked by huge trees, some 800 years old.

The stone staircase is 600 meters long and comprises of 267 steps. Near the base is shop renting Heian period costumes for cosplay photo ops.

For those unable to walk the Kumano Kodo it offers an opportunity to experience the pilgrimage route. At the top the road heads down to the right towards the Falls or a further series of steps carry on up to the shrine and temple.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Kumano Sansho Omiwasha


I started my walk along the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage in Nachi on the south coast of Wakayama. The first temple is Seigantoji at the famous Nachi Falls, and for the first 8 days the Saigoku Pilgrimage follows the Kumano Kodo.


Just across from the station in Nachi is Kumano Sansho Omiwasha, a subsidiary shrine of Nachi Taisha, and right next door to Fudurakusanji, the temple it was a part of until the separation of shrines and temples in early Meiji.


People would stop at the shrine to purify before heading next door to the temple and then on up the valley to the falls.


The three kami enshrined here are the three Kumano kami enshrined at Nachi, Shingu, and Hongu, Fusumi no okami, Hayatamano, and Ketsumiko no mikoto.