Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mine-Ji

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Mine-Ji is an ancient mountain temple looking down on Unnan Town in the Okuizumo district south of Lake Shinji.

I previously posted on the Nio and Fudo Myojin statues here.

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Reputedly founded in 658 by the legendary En no Gyoja, considered to be the founder of Shugendo, the temple was reputedly visited by Kobo Daishi and has been a Shingon Temple since then.

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There are a lot of nice statuary in the extensive grounds, and several shrines, one to Inari, and one to Suijin. The shugendo tradition continues here and in April a Himatsuri (fire festival) is held.

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With advance reservations the temple is one of the few in the region that offers shukubo (temple lodgings) and shojin ryori (vegetarian buddhist meals)

There is a nice garden that can be enjoyed while drinking tea, and an interesting library and an altar for Tibetan Buddhism.

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This felt very much like a "working" temple, active in many areas, whereas so many temples are simply funerary sites.

There is no public transport to the temple but Kisuki Station is about 2k away, and the temple is only at about 180 meters elevation, so not so hard to walk to.

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I dont usually find painted screens all that appealing, but this one in the temple really struck me.

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