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Temple Spots in Kagawa Area

  • Okuboji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Sanukishi Tawa Kanewari 96
    Okuboji Temple located in Sanuki City, Kagawa Prefecture is a temple of the Shingon sect Daikakuji school and the 88th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It is the place for completing a Shikoku pilgrimage, and the kongozue (sticks) and hats which belonged to pilgrims who completed the pilgrimage are dedicated next to the main hall. It is said that Gyoki established the temple in the Yoro period (717 to 724), and Kobo daishi built an edifice and enshrined a statue of Bhaisajyaguru carved by him later. It was popular for the principal image of Bhaisajyaguru which is said to blow away calamity and sicknesses, and also as a Nyoninkoya where women can access the mountain. The main hall and a two-story tahoto pagoda line up are backed by Taizogamine Peak, and it is said that you can receive the same fortune as with the pilgrimage of the 88 sites when you walk one lap around the Osunafumidojo (sand stepping field) of Daishi hall. It is also well-known for fall foliage.
  • Zentsuji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Zentsujishi Zentsujichou 3-3-1
    Zentsuji Temple is the grand head temple of the Shingon sect Zentsuji school, located in Zentsuji City, Kagawa Prefecture. It is the 75th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. The area where the temple stands is known as the birthplace of Kobo Daishi (Kukai), and he himself built the temple over a period of six years from 807 with the aid of donations from his father. The temple is noted as one of the three holy sites linked to Kobo Daishi and has drawn worshipers since the olden days. Within the vast temple grounds are housed National Treasures relating to Kobo Daishi and numerous Important Cultural Properties. Saiin, or the Western Temple, is called the birthplace temple and it is here where visitors will find the ordination platform revered as the place of Kobo Daishi’s birth.
  • Temple No. 84, Yashimaji Temple
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    4.0
    159 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Yashimahigashimachi 1808
    The Yashima-ji Temple is an Omuro-sect Shingon Buddhist temple in Takamatsu City. It is the 84th temple visited on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage, and is said to have been founded by the monk Ganjin in 754. The Yashima-ji Temple has several Important Cultural Properties, including the Hon-do hall and the temple bell, as well as a wooden statue of a seated Senju Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) which is the main object of veneration in the temple and which can be viewed in the Homotsu-kan (Treasure Hall). Other artifacts on display in the Homotsu-kan include an illustrated scroll of the Genpei Josuiki (an extended version of the Heike Monogotari, or “Tale of the Heike”), a white banner of the Genji clan, and a folding screen painting of the Battle of Yashima.

    This Temple had shrines spread around the site which was very quiet and peaceful in the early morning. A short walk past some shops and a restaurant took us to the Yashima Plateau with its panoramic...

  • Jinnein Kannon-ji Temple
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    3.5
    39 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Kanonjishi Yahatachou 1-chome 2-7
    This rare holy site features two temples that share a single temple gate. It is located halfway up Mt. Kotohiki in Kotohiki Park, Kannonji City, Kagawa Prefecture. Jinnein Temple is the 68th temple on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage, and Kannonji Temple is the 69th. It was established by Nissho as an adjunct to Kotohiki Hachimangu, and afterward Kukai built a complete seven-structured temple compound and made Sacred Avalokitesvara the principal image, renaming the temple to Kannonji. In the first year of the Meiji period, the split between Buddhism and Shintoism led Kotohiki Hachimangu to be split into Kotohiki Shrine and Jinnein. Jinnein was relocated to the Saikondo hall of Kannon-ji Temple, situating both on the same grounds. The garden on the slope of the mountain is known as a famous rhododendron spot. There’s also a treasure room that contains many of Jinnein’s precious items and other sights worth seeing.

    Here you will get two temples for the time of visiting one. One temple, Kannonji is really beautiful and gorgeous. The other temple, Jinnein, is an attempt to modernize a temple but sadly did not do...

  • Yakuri-ji Temple
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    4.5
    81 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Murechoumure 3416
    The temple is the 85th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage in Mure Town, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture. It is located half-way up Mt. Goken and is of the Shingon sect Daikakuji school. Legend has it that when Kobo Daishi, a Japanese Buddhist priest, was completing Gumonjiho training, a method where a person chants the Shingon or “True Word” one million times over 50 days or 100 days, five swords fell from the sky. Daishi buried the five swords as the guardian of the mountain and in 829 he built the temple. It is said that the name of the temple comes from the eight grilled chestnuts Daishi planted that grew. In front of the approaching path where the Shotendo Hall stands, a Buddhist Ganesh Kangiten is enshrined, and it is thought that it brings luck for a prosperous business, academic achievement, and marriage.

    Yakuri is unusual because it is laid out as an X that can be approached two ways:from one direction you enter a Shinto shrine, and from the other, you enter a Buddhist temple. Take time to explore...

  • Motoyamaji Temple
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    4.0
    24 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Mitoyoshi Toyonakachoumotoyama Kou 1445
    This is a Koyasan Shingon school temple in Toyonaka-cho in Mitoyo City, Kagawa Prefecture and is 70th temple of the 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. It was built in 807 by Kobo Daishi at the behest of Emperor Heizei. It is legend that the main hall was built in one night. The principal object of worship is the Hayagriva which is said to have been made by Daishi. The current main hall was reconstructed in 1300 with a tiled hip roof and is designated as a national treasure. There are many things to see in the grounds including a five-storied pagoda, a guardian god hall and a hall with an enshrined statue of Kobo Daishi. It is famous for its Cucumber Blessing held every year in July on the day of the ox.

    Motoyamaji was built in the year 807 is considered a National Treasure. There is also a legend that the temple was protected by a huge swarm of bees when Chousokabe Motochika (1539-1599), a daimyo...

  • Komatsuozan Fudokoin Daiko-ji Temple
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    4.0
    18 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Mitoyoshi Yamamotochoutsuji 4209
    The Komatsuozan Fudokoin Daiko-ji Temple is a temple belonging to the Zentsu-ji school of Shingon Buddhism, located in the Yamamoto Town of Mitoyo City, Kagawa Prefecture; it is the 67th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. The Daiko-ji Temple was originally founded as a branch temple of the Todai-ji Temple in Nara, but was subsequently reestablished by Kobo Daishi. At one point in its history the temple changed its adherence to the Tendai school of Buddhism, under the influence of the monk Saicho (the founder of Tendai Buddhism); as a result, the temple precincts now house both the Shingon Buddhist Kobo Daishi Hall and the Tendai Buddhist Tendai Daishi Hall. The statue of Kongo Rikishi (a Buddhist guardian deity), which according to tradition was carved by the master sculptor Unkei, is believed to be the largest statue of its kind in any temple in Shikoku. Also worth seeing are the Shichinichi Tomyo votive candles, which are believed to help worshippers protect themselves from illness, ensure smooth childbirth, and increase the likelihood of having a happy marriage, etc., and the huge Japanese Torreya trees and Camphor trees, which are said to have been planted by Kobo Daishi.

    Located out in the countryside, and looking out over many farmer’s fields, Daikouji is a beautiful temple that has at its base a giant camphor tree that was planted by Koubou Daishi. It is a marvel...

  • Gosho-ji Temple
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    4.0
    37 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Ayautagunutaduchou 1435
    The Gosho-ji Temple is the 78th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. Unusually for the temples included in the Pilgrimage, the Gosho-ji Temple belongs to the Ji-shu school of Buddhism. It was originally founded in 725 by the bodhisattva Gyoki as a temple dedicated to Amida Nyorai (the Amitabha Buddha). Subsequently, Kobo Daishi visited the site, carved a statue of himself, and built a monastery. The wooden statue, which came to be known as Yakuyoke Udatsu Daishi, attracted larger numbers of worshippers for many years. Subsequently, many famous monks—including Rigen Daishi and Keishin Sozu—visited the Temple to meditate. In 1288, Ippen Shonin (the founder of the Ji-shu school of Buddhism) visited the Gosho-ji Temple, and established a hall for Odori-nenbutsu (a form of Buddhist incantation that involves dancing, drumming and chanting). As a result, the Gosho-ji Temple became a temple where both the Shin-shu and Ji-shu schools of Buddhism were practiced.

    A very good temple to visit if you want to see one that is not so much on the tourist radar. This is one of the temples on the pilgrimage which is truly inspiring to visit. A bit of a hike up the...

  • Koyama-ji Temple
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    3.5
    29 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Zentsujishi Hirotachou 1765-1
    The Koyama-ji Temple is the 74th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. According to tradition, when Kobo Daishi was looking for a suitable site for a temple, an old man appeared to him and told him to build the temple at the spot where he was currently standing. Kobo Daishi carved a statue of Bishamonten (one of the Four Heavenly Kings) and placed it in a cave to be worshipped. Subsequently, an order was received from the court to repair the Manno-ike, the largest irrigation reservoir in Shikoku. Kobo Daishi went to the cave and prayed that the repair work could be completed successfully; large numbers of people who revered Kobo Daishi came together to undertake the work, which was finished without any problems. Tradition has it that part of the reward paid by the court for the successful completion of the repair work was used to build the Koyama-ji Temple. The original statue of Bishamonten still survives, situated in a cave at the rear of the Temple’s Daishi Hall.

    The approach to this temple is far from encouraging, as it winds between love hotels and past a large cement factory (though the latter was much to the delight of my preschool son, it left our car...

  • Hakugyuzan Kokubunji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Kokubunjichoukokubu 2065
    This temple is 80th temple of the 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. It is one of the kokubunji temples that Emperor Shomu built across the country in the 8th century. There are four of these in Shikoku and as some of them are designated in the 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, this one is distinguished as Sanuki Kokubunji. It is said to have been established when Gyogi Bosatsu made a giant statue of the eleven-faced kannon there. The entirety of the old grounds has been designated as a nationally important historic site. It is famous for having the oldest temple bell in Shikoku. It is legend that the feudal lord purchased the temple bell and when he tried to install it at his castle, a number of mishaps occurred and he returned it to the temple in the end.
  • Tennoji Temple
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    4.0
    25 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Sakaideshi Nishinoshouchou Emperor 1713-2
    This temple is 79th of the 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. It is said to have been founded by Gyogi Bosatsu then revived by Kobo Daishi. As a miracle was performed at the time, it is said to have flourished for a long time. Its ingo temple title was Shoko-in but as the mausoleum for the Emperor Sutoku, famous for having turned in to a vengeful spirit, was built and memorial services were held here, the name was changed to Tennoji (The Emperor’s Temple). It is famous for its rare design that looks like the three gates are joined together.

    Tennoji Temple shares its grounds with a Shinto shrine, so it is a kind of two-in-one for visitors coming to check out this very lovely site. History says that this is the site where the body of...

  • Doryu-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Nakatadoguntadotsuchou Kitagamo 1-3-30
    The Doryu-ji Temple is the 77th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. According to tradition, the Temple was founded when Wakino Michikata, the local ruler, carved a statue of the Bhaisajyaguru (Medicine Buddha) from a large mulberry tree and built a temple to install it in. There is a mystical legend associated with this mulberry Buddha statue. Curious about a strange light that the mulberry tree was emitting every night, Wakino Michikata shot an arrow at the tree, and killed his old nurse by mistake. Overcome with grief, Wakino Michikata carved a Buddha statue from the tree to pray to, and his nurse subsequently came back to life.
  • Nagao-ji Temple
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    3.5
    40 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Sanukishi Nagaonishi 653
    The Nagao-ji Temple is the 87th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. There are several different stories regarding the Temple’s origins, but the most widely-quoted story is that the Temple was founded when the bodhisattva Gyoki carved a statue of the bodhisattva Kannon and built a temple to install the statue in. Subsequently, when Kobo Daishi was preparing to travel to China to study Buddhist teachings there, he spent a period of seven days at the Temple, starting from New Year, performing the Gomakito fire ceremony to pray for a successful journey. A Daieyo ceremony is still held at the Temple every year on the seventh day of January in commemoration of this event. During this event, there is a competition in which participants compete to see who can carry a huge rice cake, which weighs 150 kilograms and is decorated with the Three Jewels, for the longest distance.

    Here you can see the tomb of a woman named Shizuka Gozen. She was the lover of Minamoto Yoshitsune, and after he died she entered the religious life here. The grounds are very compact and beautiful...

  • Negoro-ji Temple
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    4.5
    50 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Nakayamachou 1506
    The Negoro-ji Temple, which is a mountain temple located on the slopes of Mt. Ao-mine, around 30 minutes’ drive from JR Takamatsu Station, is the 82nd temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. According to tradition, the origins of the Temple lie in the Kezoin Temple that Kobo Daishi built to worship the Godai Myo-o (Five Great Wisdom Kings) of Ao-mine. Subsequently, a new temple, the Senju-in Temple, was established nearby to house the statue of the bodhisattva Kannon with “one thousand” arms that was carved by Chiso Daishi from an aromatic tree growing in the Renge-tani Valley; the two temples were combined to create what is now the Negoro-ji Temple. Particularly worth seeing are Kobo Daishi’s statue of the Godai Myo-o, the statue of an Gyuki (cow-headed devil) situated in a corner of the car parking area, and the approximately 33,000 statues of the bodhisattva Kannon arranged along a three-sided cloister just in front of the Hon-do (Main Hall). The path leading up to the Temple is lined by trees, and is a marvelous place to view autumn foliage in the autumn months.

    This is really such a gem of a place to visit, and highly recommended for hikers and nature walkers. The temple is very calm and quiet and is considered by Buddhists as the source of Kagawa...

  • Botaraku-san Shido-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Sanukishi Shido 1102
    Located around seven minutes’ walk from JR Shido Station on a site that looks out over Yashima Island and Mt. Gokenzan, facing Shido Bay, Botaraku-san Shido-ji Temple is the 86th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It is the oldest of the 88 temples, having been founded in 625. The statue of the bodhisattva Kannon with eleven faces, flanked by guardian attendants Fudo Myo-o (Acala) and Bishamonten (Vaisravana), which was donated to the Temple by Matsudaira Yorishige, the lord of the Sanuki domain, the statues of the Nioh Guardians which were carved by Unkei, the Hon-do (Main Hall) and the Nioh Gate are all designated Important Cultural Properties. There is no admission charge for entry to the Kyokusui-shiki Garden, a garden constructed in the Muromachi period which resembles a traditional landscape painting and which is located in a corner of the Temple precincts, or to the Muzen-tei Garden, a Zen-style dry landscape garden.
  • Shushakaji Temple
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    3.5
    25 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Zentsujishi Yoshiwarachou 1091
    Located around 10 minutes’ drive from JR Zentsu-ji Station, the Shushaka-ji Temple is associated with legends about Kobo Daishi. It is the 73rd temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. According to tradition, when Kobo Daishi was seven years old he jumped off a cliff, and was rescued by a celestial maiden; the Shashingadake-zenjo Inner Temple was built in gratitude for this event. The Inner Temple is situated around 50 minutes’ walk from the main hall, but it can also be reached by car; on the way, visitors pass by a grove of Japanese cypress trees that have been designated for special preservation by Kagawa Prefecture, the Yosano Akiko and Hiroshi Garden, and Yanagai-no-mizu. From the Inner Temple, there are superb views of the Sanuki Plain and the Seto Inland Sea.

    曼荼羅寺からはとても近く車だとすぐなのですが、住宅の合間を抜けるような感じです。徒歩でもずっと登るような感じです。境内はこぢんまりとしていますが、徒歩で45分-1時間弱分ほど山道を行けば、弘法大師の逸話が伝えられる捨身ヶ嶽遙禅定があります。境内にはそこへ行ったと同じ御利益が得られるという捨身ヶ嶽遙拝所があります。禅定まで行くか、行かないかは、体力と時間(スケジュール)との相談です。

  • Shiromineji Temple
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    4.0
    37 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Sakaideshi Oumichou 2635
    Approximately 20 minutes by car via Sakaide Kita Interchange, Takamatsu-danshi Interchange. This old temple sits on the hillside of Mt. Shiromine in Goshikidai—holy mount of Kagawa Prefecture. It is the 81st temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage, and its primary image is Senju Kannon, with protector gods from Eto zodiac venerated in their own respective halls. It is adjacent to the only Imperial mausoleum in Shikoku—Mt. Shiromine—so the Shiromine Daigongen (Sagamibo), one of Japan’s 8 Tengus, is also adored here. On the main path, you can enjoy the grand views of Seto and the Chigo-no-taki Waterfall—the tallest in the prefecture. Most of the buildings are Important Cultural Properties, and with cherry blossoms in spring, hydrangeas in summer, and colored leaves in fall, there is always something to see here.

    The weathered stone leading up to the temple, as well as the incredible views from the top, make this a wonderful walking/hiking location. The pine and cedar trees are all around, and whether you...

  • Mandaraji Temple
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    4.0
    28 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Zentsujishi Yoshiwarachou 1380-1
    This temple in Zentsuji City belongs to the Zentsuji sect of Shingon Buddhism. It is the 72nd temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. Its origins are old, established in 596 as the family temple for the Saeki clan—a powerful clan in Sanuki region. Then, after Kobo Daishi returned from Tang (China), he paid homage to the Dainichi-Nyorai here, and set up the Diamond World and Womb Realm World mandalas, renaming it “Mandala Temple.” The grounds had nurtured an “undying pine” called “Kasamatsu” —thought to have been 1200 years old—but it was cut down due to insect damage. An image of Daishi was later carved into its trunk, and is lovingly called “Kasamatsu Daishi.”

    While this temple is not as huge, or spread out, as other temples, it has something that is pretty cool to check out. In this temple you can see the Tibetan sand maps of the cosmos, and that alone...

  • Ichinomiyaji Temple
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    4.0
    45 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Ichinomiyachou 607
    An old temple located in the center of Ichinomiya Town, Takamatsu City, Ichinomiyaji Temple is the 83rd temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. The Sho-Kannon bodhisatva placed in the main hall as the primary deity worshipped is thought to have been carved by Kobo Daishi when his visited this area during the construction of the 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. The best sight may be the camphor tree-focused garden built along the worship road. It was created by Kyoto’s famous gardener, Minoru Fujii and it gives you deeper healing and more varied emotions each time you visit.

    This temple is really quite lovely. Rebuilt in 1701 it still is old enough to enjoy and feel the tone and mood of the ohenro (pilgrim) experience. Noted for it being the place of the Medicine...

  • Iyadaniji Temple
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    4.5
    28 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Mitoyo-shi Minocho Omi-Otsu 70
    A flight of 540 steps lead to the mountain top main temple of Iyadaniji Temple. It's one of the top three sacred spots in Japan according to some rankings and the 71st temple on 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Known for its difficult access, worshiping there is thought to help ward off illness. These days a shuttle bus is available for those who don't want to make the climb.

    This is the temple you may have seen in your dreams. It is simply ethereal as you travel up the steps through the mountain path to the temple itself. Carved partially into the mountain, there are...

Kagawa Areas

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Japan’s smallest prefecture, Kagawa, may take up just a small corner of Shikoku, but it has grown increasingly popular with the recognition of Naoshima, its "art island" in the Seto Inland Sea between Shikoku and Honshu. Just a stone’s throw from the islands, mainland Kagawa’s prefectural capital, Takamatsu, holds history in its castle ruins and its pride and joy, Ritsurin Garden, is known as one of the country’s best gardens.

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