Temple 45, Iwayaji

第45番札所 海岸山 岩屋寺
【History of the temple】
At an elevation of 700 meters, Iwayaji is a typical mountain temple where a distinctively-shaped mountain juts into the sky. The temple stands as if embedded in the middle of a huge rock. The mysterious temple grounds have been a training site for ascetic practitioners since ancient times, and various legends have been handed down to the present day.

Kobo Daishi visited this sacred place in 815. At that time, a woman from Tosa (Kochi) was already living in a cave here, engaged in Buddhist training. This woman, Hokke Zamai, is said to have acquired divine powers that enabled her to fly freely through the air. She called herself a Hokke Sennin (a hokke hermit). She was deeply devoted to Kobo Daishi, and offered the mountain to him as a sacred site. Kobo Daishi carved wooden and stone statues of Fudo Myoo and enshrined the wooden statue as the principal image. The stone statue was enshrined in a cave as a hidden Buddha in the inner temple, and the mountain itself became another principal image of the temple, another Fudo Myoo. After carving these statues, he conducted a Goma ceremony.

Ippen Shonin (1239-1289) practiced asceticism at this ancient temple in the middle of the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), as depicted in the book Ippen Hijirie. By the end of the 13th century, in addition to the statues of Fudo Myoo, there was a Gomarodan, a Sennindo, 49 rock sanctuaries, and 33 sacred caves at the temple. In the past, this temple was considered the okunoin (inner sanctuary) of Temple 44, Daihōji, but a head priest was appointed in 1874, formalizing its status as an independent temple. In 1920, the Daishido, which was larger than the Hondo, was rebuilt. The Hondo was rebuilt in 1927, the gate in 1934, and the bell tower in 1952. The Shukubo (temple lodge, no longer open) and the Henjokaku were built in 1963. The Seriwari Fudodo and the Hakusan Gongendo were built in 1978. The Daishido is a nationally designated Important Cultural Property, and the temple area is a national Scenic Beauty Spot as well as a designated Prefectural Natural Park.

・Michihiraki Fudo
Located at the corner under the sutra office, behind the Kokuzodo.
・Ana Zenjo
Located at the bottom of the stone steps leading to the Hondo.

・Seriwari Zenjo (follow the mountain path deep inside the inner temple and Daishido)
・Suzu no Ne Sanga (This is a charming song about pilgrims. The current head priest wrote the lyrics and composed the music.)
・Seven holy birds (Oriental dollarbird, Rufous hawk-cuckoo, and so on)
・New plant species (Athyriaceae, Diplaziopsis cavaleriana, iyokujaku, iwaya fern, Carex tumidula, and so on)
Address 〒791-1511 愛媛県上浮穴郡久万高原町七鳥1468
Telephone Number 0892-57-0417
DirectionsFrom the Matsuyama Interchange, take Route 33 toward Kuma. Turn left in front of Kuma Junior High School, take Prefectural Route 12. The temple is about three kilometers past Kokumin Shukusha Furuiwayaso.
fee required
Website Official website