Temples Of Japan

Kokawadera Temple

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Kokawadera Temple Hondo
Kokawadera Temple Main Worship Hall

Kokawadera Temple is located in Kinokawa city of the Wakayama Prefecture.  The Kinokawa river flows through this city and hence this place came be called as the Kinokawa city.  Kokawadera Temple is #3 Temple in the Saikoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage of Western Japan.

Kokawadera Temple is a fifteen minute walk from the JR Kokawa Station.  The JR Kokawa Station is located on the JR Wakayama Line, which connects the Nara and Wakayama Prefectures.  Kokawadera Temple is located halfway between Wakayama City and Koyasan (near JR Hashimoto Station).

Kokawadera Temple Seal

Kokawadera Temple is one of the largest Temples in Wakayama Prefecture and in the Saikoku Pilgrimage Circuit.  From the front gate (called Daimon) to the Main Worship Hall, there is a long circuitous pathway.  This pathway is covered with many small temples, shrines, gardens and halls dedicated to Buddhist Monks.  Most of the larger structures were made in the eighteenth century and with Zelkova Wood, which was popular with the wooden structures of the Edo Period.  In addition to the Daimon, there is another beautiful and large Gate just before the Hondo (called Chumon).

Statue of Thousand Armed Kannon in the Precincts

The original temple was established here in the 770 AD by Otomo no Kujiko of the Tendai Sect.  The current Hondo and other structures were rebuilt during the mid-Edo period (eighteenth century).  The Hondo is probably one of the most beautiful structures (see above) in Japan, with a dry rock style garden in front of the Temple.  In the Naijin (the sanctuary or the inner chamber) of the Hondo is the Senju-sengen-Kannon (The Goddess of Mercy with a thousand hands and a thousand eyes).  It is kept deep inside a kind of small temple called "Zushi".  On either side of the Kannon stand her Niju-hachi-bushu (twenty-eight attendants). 

This temple is very popular with the Wakayama Prefecture residents and many festivals are held here through out the year.

Here is a video of this magnificent Kokawadera Temple:

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