Monday, September 20, 2010

Fudo Myo & Nio: Kezo-Ji

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Kezo-Ji was an unexpected delight. It is a true mountaintop temple located just below a 450 meter high peak in the mountains between Matsue and Mihonoseki.

Getting there is by a very steep and very windy road. The only things on the road are a small abandoned love hotel and a small tea room. Its possible to drive right to the temple, but the best way is to stop and walk up a long flight of steps that passes through the Niomon (guardian gate)

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The temple was founded in the 9th Century, but the Nio were donated by the Lord of Matsue when he built Matsue Castle 400 years ago.

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The temple lies to the NE of Matsue and was chosen to offer protection from this direction, in the same way that Enryaku-Ji protects Kyoto.

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A little further along the mountain trail and one comes to one of the largest Fudo Myo-o statues in Japan.

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About 8 meters high, the statue was carved out of a natural rock outcropping about 150 years ago.

2 comments:

  1. This is one of my favorite temples, a place I visited often. My former wife told me that the whole mountain is haunted, hence all the abandoned buildings. With this inspiration I grabbed a few buddies one Halloween and we passed half a night up there telling ghost stories.

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