Monday, 16 April 2018

Ishiteji, Temple 51 Matsuyama

Temple 51 of the 88 Temple Shikoku Pilgrimage is Ishite-ji. Situated on the edge of Matsuyama, not far from the famous Dogo Onsen, it is one of the most fascinating and intriguing temples on the pilgrimage. You can read the story of the temple HERE

It's many buildings sprawl across a large area - the temple has two museums, a cave and an inner temple outside the main complex which is unlike any other, and the site is packed with an apparently random collection of statues, relics and carvings.

At the rear of the temple is a door:

Which leads into a long and dimly lit tunnel lined with small statues of Jizo Bosatsu:

At the end of the tunnel is an exit onto a quiet road: 

On the opposite side of the road is a pathway looked after by this fellow:

Which leads to the strangest temple building of all. This is the inner temple. It is not generally open to visitors but is well worth a visit to see the building and the statues that line the walls outside.

There is also a statue here of a emaciated Buddha:

Returning back through the cave, at the end you can turn left along another passage lined with statues and pictures looking strange and spooky in the dark.

Emerging into the light:

For walking henro these steps indicate the route on out the back of the temple:

You can read more about Ishiteji HERE

I love this place.

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