Temples Of Japan

Kawasaki Daishi Temple

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Kawasaki Daishi Temple
Kannon Statue in Kawasaki Daishi Temple Precincts

Kawasaki Daishi Temple is located in Kawasaki ward in Kawasaki city of Kanagawa prefecture.  This temple also known as Heikenji Temple and is the second most visited temple in the Kanto region after Sensoji Temple in Asakusa.

To get to the temple by train, from the JR Kanagawa station (in Tokyo) take the Keikyu line to Keikyu Kawasaki station in Kawasaki city.  From Keikyu Kawasaki station transfer to Keikyu Daishi line to Kawasaki Daishi station.  The temple is a nice, engaging ten minute walk from the station.

Kawasaki Daishi temple was built in year 1128 during the region of Emperor Daiji.  The main enshrined deity in this temple's Hondo is the Saint Kobo Daishi, also known as Saint Kukai.  Kobo Daishi is the founder of Shingon sect of Buddhism in Japan.

Kawasaki Daishi Temple Seal

The story of Heikenji temple says that Kobo Daishi came into the dreams of a devout Buddhist fisherman (Hirama Kanenori) that lived near Kawasaki and instructed him to fish out a statue of himself which he put in the sea while he was studying Buddhism in China.  The fisherman finds the wooden statue and starts worshiping it.  Then he meets a Saint from Koyasan, by the name of Saint Sonken.  Both Saint Sonken and the fisherman Hirama Kanenori eventually build this temple now known as Kawasaki Daishi Heikenji Temple. 

Here is a video of the Kawasaki Daishi Temple:

Kawasaki Daishi temple specially gets thousands of visitors on the night of the New Year's eve and the New Year's day.  For Japanese people the New Year's day is a very important day, both as a religious and cultural observation. 

One of the unique aspects of this temple is the Octogonal five storied pagoda, which is built in the style of Chinese pagodas.

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