Temples Of Japan

Ishiyamadera Temple

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Ishiyamadera Temple Gate
Ishiyamadera Temple San Mon Gate

Ishiyamadera Temple is located in Otsu city, Shiga prefecture Japan.  This temple can be reached through Kyoto city Subway Tozai line.  Take the Tozai line and switch to the Keihan Railway to Hamaotsu station.  From there take the Ishiyama-sakamoto line to Ishiyamadera Station.  It is a bit confusing trip because part of the Keihan Railway line inside Kyoto runs on Subway Tozai line.  Make sure you do not get lost!!!

Ishiyamadera Temple is number thirteenth temple on the Saikoku (33 Kannon temples of Kansai region) pilgrimage circuit.
Ishiyamadera Temple Seal
Ishiyamadera Temple is situated in the south end of the Otsu City; on the banks of Seta river and at the foothills of Mt. Garan.  Mt. Garan is a sacred mountain and it has oldest history and tradition since the Nara period.

Ishiyamadera Temple Seal

This temple was founded about 1250 years ago, in 749, by Bishop "Roben Sojyo", at the imperial order of Emperor Shomu.  Within the vast temple precincts there are: Wollastonite, a large rare natural rock monument; The concealed Buddha of marriage, for safe childbirth and good fortune handed down from Prince Shohtoku, in the main building; The Main Buddha, only open to visitors every 33 years; Nyoirin (Fortune) Kannon; Relics in the "room of Genji", in which Lady Murasaki Shikibu wrote parts of her Tale of Genji novel; Rennyodo, named after Rennyo Shonin; Temple's Treasure Tower and countless other national treasures from Nara, Heian and Kamakura periods.

This treasure tower was built 750 years ago by Yoritomo Minamoto during the Kamakura period.  Of all the treasure towers in Japan it is the oldest and the most beautiful. 

Tahoto (Treasure Tower)

It is used as a design on the four yen postage stamps.

The front gate of this temple which is called as Sanmon or Todaimon, has two great deva king statues and guardians.  The two are works by great sculptors of Kamakura period called Tankei and Unkei.  The great aspect of these two statues is that, from a distance they look like two dimension cardboard cut outs.  But when you get closer you can see that they are actually three dimensional statues carved out of wood.  Very interesting!!!

The Hondo (main worship hall) is the oldest building in the Shiga prefecture.  The inner structure was built 850 years ago in the Fujiwara architectural style.  The outer structure, in the Momoyama style (a stage like construction).

Here is a video of this beautiful temple:

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