Temple 71, Iyadaniji

第71番札所 剣五山 千手院 弥谷寺
【History of the temple】
About 1,300 years ago, Gyoki built a temple on this site by order of Emperor Shomu (reigned 724 - 749), the 45th Emperor of Japan. Empress Komyo donated a copy of the Avatamsaka Sutra and built the temple for relief from illness. In addition to the Avatamsaka Sutra, there are other sutras among the temple treasures. They date back to around 724, suggesting that the temple was founded about 50 to 100 years before Kobo Daishi's birth (774).

Mountain Worship
Mt. Iyadani, where Iyadaniji is located, has been worshipped as a sacred mountain since ancient times, and is considered one of the three most sacred places in Japan. Since ancient times, people have worshiped sacred mountains, believing that Buddhas and deities lived in then. This belief is one of the factors that led to the development of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. The cave next to a pool of water under the Hondo is said to be the entrance to the world of the gods and Buddhas, and is an object of veneration. Numerous Buddhist figures carved by ascetics who worshipped here are scattered throughout the area. People still feel that this is a sacred area. There is a water festival where visitors offer a wooden plaque with a mantra written on it in a cave at the pool. These wooden plaques are washed and purified with the sacred water that flows down from the top of the mountain.

Shishi no Iwaya
Legend says that Kobo Daishi studied at Shishi no Iwaya (Lion Cave) when he was between the ages of nine and twelve. The cave at the back of the main building of the temple was used as a sutra repository from the time of the temple's construction. It is said that Kobo Daishi took sutras from this storehouse and studied day and night by the light of the window of the cave. It is called Lion Cave because the mouth of the cave looks like the mouth of a lion roaring. It is believed that the roar of a lion is the same as the preaching of the Buddha, and that by visiting this cave with faith, the lion will eat up bad luck and protect the visitor.

Hora Jizoson
This statue of Jizo Bosatsu (Earth Treasury Bodhisattva) is believed to have power to cure illnesses from the neck up. It is on the way from the Daishido to the Shishi no Iwaya cave. You have to sit down and look up the rock wall to see the statue of Jizo ten meters above.

The Daishido is located 400 stone steps up from the Niomon Gate (120 steps if you use the toll road on the back approach). The Hondo is almost surrounded by a rocky hill 140 steps further up. Legend says that a statue of Senju Kannon (Thousand-armed Bodhisattva Who Hears the Sounds of the World) was enshrined in a cave behind the Hondo and then the cave was sealed. The Hondo was built to allow people to pray to this hidden statue of Senju Kannon. From the entrance to the Hondo there is a panoramic view of the Sanuki Plain.
・Shishi no Iwaya
Behind the Daishido is a rock cave that looks like the open mouth of a lion. Kobo Daishi studied hard here. After returning from Tang China, he donated one of the temple's treasures, a bell with a handle called Gokorei. There are statues of Kobo Daishi, his parents, and a stone Buddha enshrined here. The Gokorei is a National Important Cultural Property.
・Amida Sanson Magaibutsu
There is a figure of a Buddha carved into a cliff between the Daishido and the Hondo. It is believed to have been carved by Kobo Daishi. It is called Magaibutsu (Buddha carved on a rock face). Legend says that if you chant the mantra of Amida here, you can go to the Land of Bliss after your death.

【Annual Events】
・Shushoe (New Year's Prayer Ritual): January 1
・Sokusai Goma Kuyo Kechigan(Goma Fire Ritual for health and safety) or Setsubun-e (Spring Ritual): February 3
・Eitai Kyo Dosha Kaji Hoe (Soil Memorial Service) or Shunbun-e (Vernal Equinox Ceremony): March 20-21
・Sokusai Goma Kuyo (Goma Fire Ritual for health and safety): May 20
・Honzon-e (Principal Image Ritual): July 17
・Shubun Higan Hoe (Autumnal equinox Ritual): December 22
Address 〒767-0031 香川県三豊市三野町大見乙70
Telephone Number 0875-72-3446
DirectionsFrom the Sanuki Toyonaka Interchange, take National Route 11 and then Prefectural Route 48 toward Takamatsu City. Follow the signs to Fureai Park Mino. The temple parking lot is a little farther up on the right.
Website Official website

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