Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Reiko-Ji is the only remaining temple building in Tachikue Gorge. When the area was a stronghold of Shugendo there were many more.
The large Owaraji (straw sandals) are a common offering at temples and shrines, but as far as I can remember this is the only shimenawa I've seen adorning a temple building. I've been unable to find out why.
In 852 a monk discovered a statue of Yakushi Nyorai, the healing buddha, on the back of a giant blue turtle. He removed the statue and placed it in a nearby cave. The Emperor, on hearing the story, founded the temple, so it was probably a Shingon temple originally.
Now it belongs to the Soto Zen sect. Home to more than 1,500 statues, Tachikue Gorge is located 8k south of Izumo City on the Kando River