Friday, June 4, 2010

Takano-Ji above

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Takano-Ji, founded almost 1200 years ago, is also known as Iwami Koyasan, as the kanji for takanoji can also be read that way.

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It's one of my favorite temples, partly due to the fact that it is so far off the beaten track that it is always quiet.

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There are lots more statues up around the main hall, and a sign commemorating that here was a huge, magnificent bell until it was melted down to make cannons. This bell links Takano-Ji with my own village through the Enko legend.

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When I first saw the covered walkway that climbs the hill from the priests quarters to the main hall I thought "wow" the peasants get to climb in the rain but the priests are protected", but of course it is not the priest whi is protected but the sacred things he carries.

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There are some wonderful carvings of dragons on the outside of the main hall, with outspread wings, something I've not seen elsewhere.

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There are some nice views down from the main hall. Behind it a path goes to the mountaintop where there is a small shrine, and half way up a small building where Kukai supposedly spent time.

The real surprise of Takano-Ji though is to be found inside.

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