Temple 5, Jizoji

第5番札所 無尽山 荘厳院 地蔵寺
【History of the temple】
Kobo Daishi founded Jizoji Temple in 821 by order of Emperor Saga (reigned 809-823). It is said that Kobo Daishi carved a 5.5 cm statue of Shogun Jizo Bosatsu (Winning Army Earth Treasury) and enshrined it as the principal
image of the temple. Three generations of emperors, Emperor Saga (reigned 809-823), Emperor Junna (reigned 823-833), and Emperor Nimmyo (reigned 833-850), became devotees of the temple.

Jokan Shonin, who served as a high priest of Kumano Gongen in Kishu (current Wakayama and western Mie), carved a statue of Enmei Jizo Bosatsu (Earth Treasury of Long Life) from a sacred tree. It is said that inside the
womb of the statue was the statue of Shogun Jizo Bosatsu created by Kobo Daishi. Perhaps because of their belief in this Shogun Jizo Bosatsu, many warlords, including Minamoto no Yoritomo, Yoshitsune, and the Hachisuka
family, donated money to the temple. These donations expanded the temple's territory. In addition, there were about 300 branch temples in the three
provinces of Awa, Sanuki, and Iyo (modern-day Tokushima, Kagawa and Ehime), as well as 26 sub-temples built to commemorate the deaths of high priests.

However, during the Tensho period (1573-1592), Chosokabe Motochika burned all of these temples during his invasion of Awa (Tokushima). The
temples were later renovated and expanded through the efforts of successive generations of monks and other benefactors. Today the temple grounds cover an area of 40,000 square meters.
The inner temple, the Rakando (the Arhat Hall), was built in 1775 and
decorated with 500 statues of arhats. In 1915 a fire broke out due to the carelessness of a visitor to the temple, and many of the statues were lost.
Today there are about 200 statues of arhats with various expressions on their faces.

The large ginkgo tree on the temple grounds is over 800 years old. People say the history of the temple is engraved upon this tree.

・Gohyaku Rakan (Five Hundred Arhats)
Life-size arhat statues are lined up, with expressions of joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure, in the Rakando, a five-minute walk from the Hondo or a two-minute drive from the temple parking lot. (Entrance fee 200 yen)

A Suikinkutsu (water piano cave) is on the left after entering through the
temple gate. The clear tone of the dripping water echoes through the cave.

・Statue of Shogun Jizo Bosatsu

【Annual Events】
Ōgomakuyō (Outdoor Goma fire ritual): 1st Sunday in March
Address 〒779-0114 徳島県板野郡板野町羅漢字林東5
Telephone Number 088-672-4111
Directions From the Aizumi Interchange, take Prefectural Route 1

Parking50 cars, 20 microbuses, 10 buses
free of charge