Temples Of Japan

Chichibu Kannon Pilgrimage

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Kannon Bosatsu Statue
Statue of Goddess of Mercy (Kannon Bosatsu)

The Chichibu Kannon Pilgrimage covers thirty four Kannon Temples in the Chichibu area of the Saitama Prefecture.  Along with the Saikoku and Bando Kannon pilgrimages (which cover 66 Kannon Temples), these three pilgrimages cover a total of one hundred Kannon Temples in Japan.  These three pilgrimages are by far the most popular of the Kannon pilgrimages in Japan.

Chichibu city is part of Saitama prefecture, northwest of Tokyo.  This area is easily reachable by train from Ikebukuro station in Tokyo Metropolis.  You can take the Seibu Ikebukuro line train to Seibu Chichibu Station from Ikebukuro Station.  Chichibu area is specially beautiful the Cherry Blossom season (spring in Japan from April to early May). 

After the popularity of the Saikoku and Bando Kannon pilgrimages, this Chichibu Kannon pilgrimage circuit was created.  Initially this circuit contained thirty three Kannon temples like the other circuits but a 34th temple was added later.  It is believed that this pilgrimage circuit was created in the later Kamakura period, so most of the temples belong to the Zen Buddhism covering both the Rinzai and Soto sects of the Zen Buddhism (only three temples in the circuit belong to the Shingon sect).  Please refer to my pages on Buddhism and Shintoism in Japan to learn more about the Zen Buddhism.  There are six popular types of Kannon Bosatsu deities are worshipped at these temples.

Compared to Bando or Saikoku pilgrimages, this pilgrimage is relatively easy and covers one tenth of the total distance of Bando pilgrimage (about 130 kilometers).  All the temples are fairly confined to the Chichibu area and it is easy to visit these temples by Bus, Taxi and Walking.  If you are interested in doing the 100 Kannon pilgrimage circuits, start with Chichibu Pilgrimage to get yourself used to the idea of a pilgrimage.

Below is the list of the Kannon Temples in the Chichibu Pilgrimage.

No.   Temple Name

1)    Shimabuji Temple
2)    Shimpukuji Temple
3)    Josenji Temple
4)    Kinshoji Temple
5)    Goka-no-do Temple
6)    Bokuunji Temple
7)    Hochoji Temple
8)    Saizenji Temple
9)    Akechiji Temple
10)  Daijiji Temple
11)  Jorakuji Temple
12)  Nosakaji Temple
13)  Jigenji Temple
14)  Imamiyabo Temple
15)  Shorinji Temple
16)  Saikoji Temple
17)  Jorinji Temple
18)  Gohdoji Temple
19)  Ryusekiji Temple
20)  Iwanouedo Temple
21)  Kannoji Temple
22)  Dojido Temple
23)  Ongakuji Temple
24)  Hosenji Temple
25)  Kyushoji Temple
26)  Enyuji Temple
27)  Daienji Temple
28)  Hashidatedo Temple
29)  Chousenin Temple
30)  Houunji Temple
31)  KannonIn Temple
32)  Hoshoji Temple
33)  Kikusuiji Temple
34)  Suisenji Temple

Once you complete the three Kannon Pilgrimages covering 100 Kannon temples, it is customary for all the pilgrims to visit the Zenkoji temple in the Nagano prefecture.  This was told to me by a taxi driver while I was traveling to a Kannon temple in Kanto region.  Interesting!!!

Hope you get a chance to do these three pilgrimage circuits, please write to me if you have any questions or comments.

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