Temple 14, Jōrakuji

第14番札所 盛寿山 延命院 常楽寺
【History of the temple】
This is the only temple in the Shikoku Pilgrimage with Miroku Bosatsu (Maitreya) as the principal image. Miroku Bosatsu is a future Buddha. It is believed that he will reappear in the world 5,670 million years after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha and save all people. There is a famous Miroku Bosatsu image in Koryuji, Kyoto, which is a national treasure. The statue has one knee raised and the right hand on the cheek. Its gentle and beautiful expression represents Buddha giving light to the world with Kobo Daishi.

According to legend, Kobo Daishi practiced Shingon Buddhist training here at the age of 42 years old, the unlucky age for men in Japan. He had a vision of Miroku Bosatsu accompanied by many other bosatsu (bodhisattvas). He carved an image of Miroku Bosatsu from a nearby sacred tree, built a temple, and enshrined the image as the principal image. In his will, Kobo Daishi mentions this bodhisattva. "After I have closed my eyes, I shall leave this world to Tosotsuten, a heaven where Miroku Bosatsu lives. After 5.6 billion years, I shall surely come to this world with him and see what has happened after me..." We can feel his deep feeling for Jōrakuji.

Kobo Daishi’s nephew Shinnen later built the Kondo (Golden Hall), and a high priest named Kishin Shonin, who is known for the reconstruction of Koyasan, built the lecture hall, three-storied pagoda, and Niomon Gate. As a result, Jōrakuji became a majestic temple with seven major buildings. It also became a place of worship for the military governors of Awa in the Muromachi period (1336-1573). However, all the buildings were burnt down by the attack of Chosokabe Motochika in the Tensho era (1573-1592). The temple was reconstructed in the early Edo period (1603-1868) and moved from a nearby valley to a location near the Ryusuigan no Niwa. Ryusuigan no Niwa is about 50 stone steps above Gokurakuji. There are a series of oddly shaped rocks there, blending the temple architecture with nature.

Jorakuen is a child and family service center adjacent to the temple. Jōrakuji is the only temple among the temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage that runs a child and family service center. Jorakuen was established as a social welfare facility for war orphans in 1955 and licensed as a social welfare corporation in 1963. The children are aged from one to eighteen years old.
・Araragi Taishi
This is a huge tree, 8 meters in circumference and 10 meters in height, located to the right of the Hondo. People visit here to pray for healing from diabetes.

・Statue of Jizo Bosatsu (Earth Treasury Bodhisattva). It is located in front of the Hondo. It has the power to cure children's bed-wetting, night crying, toothache, and sore feet.

Address 〒779-3128 徳島県徳島市国府町延命606
Telephone Number 088-642-0471
DirectionsFrom the Aizumi Interchange, take Prefectural Route 1 toward Tokushima City. When it merges with Route 192, drive toward Ishii Town, then take Prefectural Routes 21 and 207. You will see the sign.
Parkingfor about 10 cars
free of charge