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Touno Sekibutsu no Sato. Pilgrimage to Sekibutsu.

Japanese history at it's best.
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 8.948 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  What I appreciate about art, is the way an artist can take an image, consign it to memory, then, at a later date, reproduce the images... more »

Tips:  The public transport system in Japan is second-to-none. So getting here is easy, regardless of where you are coming from. Kamo town is... more »

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Points of Interest

According to temple traditions Gansen-ji was founded in 729 when Emporer Shomu made a procession to Furosan Shrine, in Izumo Province.
In 806 Chisen Daishi reconstructed it as the Hoon-in.
At the height of it's prosperity the temple boasted thirty-nine structures, but in the Jokyu no Ran of 1221, most were were burnt down by battling... More

2. Santai Jizo.

This is the first of many of these stone carvings.The images are of three children, facing west towards the setting-sun. Each figure are holding prayer beads.

3. Mirokunotsuji.

This sekibutsu is an image of Syaka - Buddha, the creator of Buddhism.

4. Warai.

This is the most famous of the stone carvings, and, for obvious reasons, attracts a lot of visitors. Warai, in Japanese, means laughing/happy/smiling.The image is of Buddha sitting in the "Lotus Position" on a Water-lilly.

5. Karasunotsubo.

You will notice the hole, on the right of the image. This is used to hold a candle, to illuminate the image, for when praying here at night.

6. Yabunonka.

Yabunonka, in Japanese, means "inside of bush". The three images names are - "Amida", "Jizo" and "Kanzeno".

Joruri-ji Temple was founded by priest Gimyo.This is a Shingon Ritsu sect temple.
It was first founded in 1041 as Nishi Odawara-ji Temple.
Most of the temple buildings were destroyed during the period of the northern and southern dynasties (1336 - 1392), but the main hall (built in 1107) and the three storied pagoda survived.
A Jodo style... More

8. Kubikiri.

You need to keep an eye-out for these fellows as they are just off the track.These images have a sinister name attached to them. Kubikeri, meaning severing of head, a task performed by a "second" on someone that has just committed seppuku, a form of ritualistic suicide.

9. Daimonsekizogun-ginga (shrine)

If you are not paying attention, you may easily miss this shrine.Daimonsekizogun-ginga is attached to the sekibutsu in the following photo. In English terms, this site is regarded as a neighbourhood shrine.

10. Daimonsekizogun..

These sekibutsu are referred to as "neighbourhood sekibutsu", and are related to the nearby shrine.

11. Daimonnohotokedani.

This carving is by far the most impressive.Daimonnohotokedani is the oldest and biggest sekibutsu in the area. It was built in the Nara/Heian era (794 - 1300). You need to be paying attention though, as it will be easily missed. It can been seen off the trail, but you need to take a detour to reach the rock. The inconvenience will be well worth it.