Thursday, June 3, 2010
Takano-Ji is a wonderful old mountain temple in the middle of nowhere just north of where I live. Its not on any main roads, and only has a small handpainted sign pointing to it.
The 2 Nio guarding the entrance to the temple are not intricately carved, but quite vivid.
The temple was founded in 814, and legend has it that Kobo Daishi himself spent time at this spot. Of course, according to legends Kobo Daishi managed to be in six places at once performing miracles the length and breadth of Japan, so I havent been able to confirm if he really was here.
Largely due to its isolation, I think, the temple is quite atmospheric.
There are statues dotted around all over the place.
The priests house is quite old and very traditional. Buddhist priests often get to live in some remarkable places.
The main hall of the temple is higher up the mountainside, about 160 steps higher up!