Showing posts with label tokushima. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tokushima. Show all posts

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Up the Yoshino River to Ikeda


A wayside Fudo Myo statue is a timely reminder that I am walking the Shikoku Fudo Myo pilgrimage as I leave the Teramachi district of Mima in Tokushima and continue west along the Yoshino River.

For these first three days of the pilgrimage, I have been following the river upstream as it heads almost perfectly East to West. I had spent the morning visiting interesting sites in Mima after first visiting temple 3 of the pilgrimage. The next cluster of three temples was around Ikeda 20-30 kilometers upstream, and also where I had a room booked for the night, so I simply walked West along the north bank as quickly as I could, forgoing any distractions.

After the three temples in the Ikeda area, I would be heading back down the river on the southern bank where another couple of temples lay.

The river continued to be wide as did its valley, and there were relatively few bridges.

The valley narrowed as I approached Ikeda, and the river made a turn here and eventually headed into the middle of Shikoku through the spectacular Oboke Gorge and the now-famous Iya Valley. Across from Ikeda the very steep mountainside is terraced with rice paddies and scenic villages.

Once I reached Hashikura I jumped on a train that crossed the river and took me to Ikeda. Hashikura is the site of the next temple but I wanted to return the next day for the next leg.

My room for the next 2 nights was perched high above the river looking down on the Shikinoue pedestrian suspension bridge.

The previous post in this series was on Ganshoji Temple in Mima Teramachi

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Ganshoji Temple Mima


Ganshoji is one of seven large Buddhist temples located in a teramachi in rural Tokushima. Most teramachi, literally "temple town" were created in the Edo period as part of the castle towns that sprang up across the country, but this teramachi is located in a rural area that has been a centre for Buddhism since ancient times with the ruins of the very first temple in the region nearby.

Ganshoji also has a long history, said to have been founded in the Nara period. It is a Shingon temple with Amida Nyorai as the honzon.

The Niomon was built in the Meiji era but because of its unique design is registered as an Important Cultural Property

Behind the main hall is a small garden that was "discovered" by the famous 20th-century Japanese garden designer Mirei Shigemori who noted its similarity to the garden at Tenryuji. It is possibly the oldest garden in Shikoku.

Unfortunately, when I visited there was no one around and I couldn't see the garden.

The previous post in this series on day 3 of my walk around Shikoku on the Shikoku Fudo Myo pilgrimage was the neighboring Anrakuji Temple and its magnificent vermillion gate.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Anrakuji Temple Mima


Anrakuji is the oldest temple of the Jodo Shinshu, True Pure Land Sect, in all of Shikoku and is located in the administrative city of Mima along the Yoshino River in Tokushima.

Known locally as Akamonji, literally "red gate temple", because of the impressive gate which was built in 1756. It and several other buildings in the temple are registered as Important Cultural Properties.

It was founded around 1256 when an existing Tendai Temple, Shinnyoji, which had been in existence since the Heian Period was converted to Jodo Shinshu and renamed.

Anrakuji is located in a Teramachi- a cluster of large temples- though most teramachi were Edo-period creations whereby new castle towns built all their temples in one district, this one is located in a rural area and has been an area of temples since ancient times.

In fact the ruins  of one of the first temples ever built in Shikoku are located nearby, adjacent to some late burial mounds indicating that this was an important political center in ancient times.

The previous post in this series on my third day walking the Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimage was Mima Snaphots.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Nagaoka Family 18th Century Farmhouse


The former Nagaoka Family farmhouse is located in Mima on the north bank of the Yoshino River in Tokushima on Shikoku.

It was built in the early decades of the 18th century a few kilometers to the north of its current site but was dismantled and rebuilt here in 1979.

The first noteworthy thing is that the walls are made of earth/clay, which is standard, but the exteriors are not covered by boards or bark as is normal. Apparently, this is because the area gets relatively little rainfall so the walls don't need the protection. 

In the interiors, the floors are heavy, polished floorboards, not tatami. They did have some tatami but they were brought out and used temporarily, not laid permanently. This is how they were used further back in history.

There are plenty of tools and furniture scattered around the interiors, and the roof structure is much simpler and lighter than later architecture that used tile roofs.

Entry is free and is worth a visit if you are in the Mima area.....

I visited on my third day walking the Shikoku Fudo Myo pilgrimage. The previous post in the series is Saimyoji Temple which is a few minutes away. 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Saimyoji Temple 3 on the Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimage


On the third day of my walk along the Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimage my first stop was Saimyoji, temple number three of the pilgrimage, located just outside Mima.

Unusually the large cemetery was in front of the temple, not behind or to the side as is more normal. While large cemeteries attached to temples are the norm in many parts of Japan, it is worth noting that in my area most cemeteries are very small and scattered around the village.

It is a Shingon Temple, but I can find little information about it. It is relatively large and the treasure house contains statues registered as National and prefectural Important Cultural Properties, so must be fairly old. Mima was a prosperous area in earlier times.

It was very early and no-one was about and I missed the Fudo Myo statue to the left of the main hall;

For the next few days, I would carry on west, up the wide valley before coming back downstream on the southern bank, through an area I had not visited before as yesterday the Fudo pilgrimage route diverted from the standard ohenro route.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Kumadaniji Temple Niomon


The Niomon at Kumadanoji Temple, number 8 on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, is said to be the largest Niomon of all the 88 temples on the pilgrimage.

It was built in 1687 and stands 12.3 meters tall and 9 meters wide, and is an Important Cultural Property.. This was mu second visit to Kumadaniji, and the approach to the gate is famous for its cherry blossoms, though I have not visited at that time.

I am guessing that the pair of Nio statues also date from the time of the Niomons construction. Other buildings within the temple date from a few years later, so rebuilding the Niomon seems to have been a priority.

I was walking the Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimage, so I revisited the first set of temples. and for the first day and a half my route followed the Shikoku Ohenro pilgrimage

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Juraku-ji Revisited


Juraku-ji is temple number 7  on the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage. I visited when I walked that pilgrimage but this time I am walking the Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimage, and although this temple is not part of that pilgrimage, the first day and a half of the Fudo Pilgrimage roughly follows thye same route so I stopped in at any temples I passed.

Later, on his second day of walking the Fudo pilgrimage, my route deviates from the Ohenro route and I continue up the valley for a few more days;

It'smid December so the sun never gets very high and makes strong shadows. For taking photos and also for long distance walking, it is my favorite time of the year in Japan.

Like the previous temple, Anrakuji, Jurakuji has a Chinese-style gate. There is nothing special in any of the other architecture which is all relativeky modern.

There are quite a few statues, a lot of Jizo, amd a couple of Fudo Myo statues, the one pictured below with an unusual stance.....

Buy tatami direct from Japan

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Anrakuji Revisited


Anrakuji is temple number 6 on the famous Shikoku pilgrimage known as Ohenro. I had visited many years previously while walking that pilgrimage, but this time it was the second day of my walk along the Shikoku Fudo Myo-O pilgrimage.

It is not a part of that pilgrimage, but the first day and half of the Fuso pilgrimage folows roughy the same route as the Ohenro so I took the opportunity to revisit any temples and shrines I passed. For some pilgrims the main focus is on visiting the @ilgrimage temples, but for me the space between temples was just as important and I visited every shrine and temple I passed. In fact on the Ohenro I visited many times more shrines than temples.

It was very early in the morning and no-one was about. The honzon, pictured in the first photo, is a Yuakushi Nyorai, supposedly carved by Kukai himself. The temple is also known for the shrine and pond dedicated to Benzaiten, and there is also a nice pagoda.

Later on this second day the Ohenro route heads south and crosses the river, but the Fudo pilgrimage route continues to head upriver for a few more days.