After leaving Iishi Shrine I headed downstream to a larger valley and then headed further east up another small valley. Manpukuji is in a remote location and is little visited today.
It is yet another temple reputedly founded in 745 by Gyoki, who also carved the main statue of the Thousand Armed, Thousand Eyed Kannon. It is only opened to view once every 33 years. The Nio were quite crude, the kind of "folk" art that I prefer.
More steps up to the bell tower. This used to be a much larger temple complex located higher up the mountainside. It was a Kiganjo, an official prayer temple, for the Mori Clan.
During the Warring States Period, the Amago and Mori fought many battles and during one the temple was burnt down. In the mid 16th Century it was rebuilt at a much smaller scale at the present location.
It is now a Shingon temple.