Temples Of Japan

KiMiidera Temple

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KiMiidera Temple
KiMiidera Main Worship Hall (Hondo)

KiMiidera Temple is located in the suburbs of the Wakayama City in the Wakayama Prefecture.  KiMiidera Temple is the #2 Temple that is visited by Pilgrimages as part of the Saikoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage of Western Japan.  It is a mountain top Temple with great views of the Wakayama City and parts of the Awaji Island. 

This temple can be easily reached with a short walk from the JR KiMiidera Station.  JR KiMiidera Station is the second stop from JR Wakayama Station on the JR Kisei Line (going towards Shingu City).

KiMiidera Temple Seal

KiMiidera Temple was also known by the name of Gokokuin Temple.  It was believed that KiMiidera Temple was first established in 770 AD by a Chinese Buddhist monk by the name of Weiguang.  Monk Weiguang has carved the statues of Kannon Bodhisattva and placed them in the original prayer hall.  

This temple later achieved much prominence under the rule of Japanese Emperor Shirakawa, who pronounced the temple to be an imperial temple.  This temple was for many years belonged to the Shingon Sect of Japanese Buddhism, but now this temple belongs to Kusekannon Zong Sect of Buddhism. 

KiMiidera KannonThere are many structures that comprise the temple's precincts, the most important one was the Hondo, which was built in the 18th century and uses a style called Irimoya-zukuri.  From the main gate at the bottom of the hill, you need to climb 231 steps to get to the Hondo Precincts. 

The Kannon Statue believed to have been carved
by Monk Weiguang

This Hondo's  style is an excellent example of the late Edo era.  Zelkova tree, which is a suitable building material for the wooden architecture, was used for it's structure. 

In addition to the seventeenth and eighteen century structures, a new Kannon building was constructed in the temple precincts, whose balcony provides great views of parts of the Shikoku and Awaji Islands.

There are about 500 Cherry trees seen in the KiMiidera Temple precincts and every year during the Cherry Blossom season in the late April, major festival is held at this temple and visited many Wakayama residents. 

Here is a video of the KiMiidera Temple:

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