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Shofukuji Temple

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Shofukuji (Iizumi Kannon) Temple
Shofukuji (Iizumi Kannon) Temple Main Gate

Shofukuji temple is located in Odawara city in the Kanagawa Prefecture.  Once you get to JR Odawara station, it is about a half an hour bus ride from there.  The temple is known by it's main deity's name as Iizumi Kannon.  If you get there by bus, please ask the bus driver to stop at "Iizumi Kannon Temple".

Iizumuzan Shofukuji temple is the fifth temple in the Bando (33 kannons of kanto region) pilgrimage circuit. 

Shofukuji Iizumi Kannon Temple Seal

The temple precincts are are some of the most beautiful and serene precincts I have ever seen.  Like most suburban temples in Japan, it is quite and a nice place to visit.  Specially, when I visited this temple, it was raining profusely because of a typhoon that is passing by and I saw Japanese cranes taking shelter under the temple Hondo. 

The main worshiped deity at this temple is called Iizumi kannon, is a eleven faced (JuIchiMen) kannon. This kannon represents maternal compassion.

Statue of eleven faced (JuIchiMen) Kannon

This temple is affiliated with the Shingon sect of Mahayana Buddhism.  Mahayana Buddhism is the two main sects of Buddhism (Hinayana and Mahayana), that are originated in India.  This Shingon sect of Mahayana buddhism has been introduced to Japan by way of China.

Iizumizan Shofukuji temple was first constructed during the Nara Period (710-793) in a village called Chiyo.  The temple was burned down, and was rebuilt in 1706 in it's present location where it became known as Iizumizan Shofukuji.  The main hall of the temple (Hondo) was reconstructed full of local Odawara colors combined with the traditional style of the early Edo Period (1603-1867).

The temple is also famous for it's Daruma-ichi, a market for Dharma dolls which is held annually on December 17 and 18. There is a statue of young Mr. Sontoku Ninomiya (famous 19th century philosopher, economist of Japan, 1787-1856) in a prayer stance in the precincts.

Here is a video of Shofukuji Temple.

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