Healing - Exhibits - Temple

Seigantoji Temple
This temple was founded by Ragyo Shonin (the 'Naked Saint') who came from India during the reign of Emperor Nintoku around 1700 years ago. Ragyo Shonin endeavoured to train himself in the waters of Nachi Waterfall to reach enlightenment. Since that time, many monks have come here to undergo severe training in order to reach some level of self-realization. This place has also been visited by numerous emperors, one of which was Emperor Hanayama who made a pilgrimage of 'Saigoku 33 Kannon Reijo' (the 33 temples of the Kannon goddess pilgrimage in the Kansai area) after 1000 days of severe spiritual training. He is said to be the person who revived the pilgrimage of the 'Saigoku 33 Kannon Reijo'. This temple was thriving as a place of worship and training for the Kumano Gongen until the Meiji Era. It was then abolished by Meiji government, later to be rehabilitated. It has now become the first temple of the 'Saigoku Pilgrimage'. The sound of pilgrims' bells never ceases to be heard here.
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This temple is believed to have been connected to Fudarakusan Mountain (Potaraka), a mythical mountain beyond the sea where the Buddhist deity Kannon is said to live. From the Heian Era until the middle of the Edo Era, the chief monks who became 60 would set out to sea alone from Nachi beach toward the mythical Fudarakusan Mountain with the best wishes and prayers of their devotees. Normally these monks would never return, usually dying at sea. This practice was called 'Fudaraku Tokai'. Fudarakusan Temple stands next to 'Nagisano Miya Shrine' alongside the road to Mt. Nachi. This temple is called Fudarakusan Temple because it is a channel for the energies of the mythical Fudaraku Mountain. It is said that the mythical Fudaraku Mountain is beyond the sea to the south of Nachi and is the pure land and residence of Kannon. From the Heian Era until the Edo Era, the chief monk of this temple set out to sea on a small boat when he became 60. This practice was called 'Fudaraku Tokai', and is one of the 'Shashin Gyo' trainings in which monks performed an act of self-sacrifice for the purpose of human salvation. People entrusted the monks to carry their prayers for happiness and enlightenment to Fudarakusan Mountain.
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Kamikitayama Village Yakushido
Kami Kitayama Village is a typical mountain village of the Kumano region. Its main industry is forestry. Kamikitayama Yakushido Temple can be found in the center of the village. Yakushido is a deity of healing. Keitokuji Temple/Yakushido Temple lies on the highest point in Kawai Ward in KamiKitayama Village and stands as an highly symbolic icon for the village. From Yakushido you can enjoy a panoramic view of the mountains and the village below. This temple's festival, 'Yumi Matsuri (Bow Festival)', is held on January 8. The young archers first have to purify themselves in the freezing cold Kitayama river at dawn before the festival. Yet, it is said that no archer has ever caught a cold after doing this practice.
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Yunomine Yakushi
Yunomine Onsen is well known as 'the oldest hotspring in Japan'. It is said that Ooadonosukune, who was the governor of Kumano around the 3rd and 4th century, discovered the hotspring. Yunomine Yakushi is the deity who protects this hot spring. 'Yunomine Yakushi' resides in the Tokoji Temple, centrally located in the village where 'Yunomine Onsen' is found. The hotspring here is reputed to have a 'wild and natural' taste. In the photo you can see a hole in the rock statue on the left chest area. The rock is a natural formation which if you look closely takes the shape of a human form. There is a legend which tells of the hot spring first gushing forth from this hole in the rock, called Yakushi Statue. Because of this legend the Yakushi has also come to be called 'Yunomune' (the chest of hot water). Later this evolved into its present name of 'Yunomine'.


YojiYakushi Temple

Yakushi Nyorai is the main deity of the 'Tokoji Temple' in the village of 'Yunomine Onsen'. The existence of this healing deity in the region of Kumano is highly symbolic and is linked to the notion of Kumano as a land of healing and rebirth. A well-known legend also exists about a man called Oguri Hangan who recovered from a terminal disease by bathing in the waters of this hotspring. The existence of this healing deity in the region of Kumano is highly symbolic and is linked to the notion of Kumano as a land of healing and rebirth. A well-known legend also exists about a man called Oguri Hangan who recovered from a terminal disease by bathing in the waters of this hotspring
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Takigawa Temple
Many legends and stories remain in the mountain villages regarding the tragic history of the Nanbokucho Era, when the North and South Dynasties were at war. Takigawa temple is famous as the place where the Nancho Prince was murdered after he went into hiding there. The temple's crest is the same as that of the Japanese Royal Family, a chrysanthemum with a golden aura. A certain degree of local pride still flows from this fact.
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Kofukuji Temple
Kumano area has a lot of places that are famous in connection with Nancho (the Southern Dynasty). Kofuku Temple is one such place. It is famous for continuing the Bon Dance tradition every August where those who have passed on to the beyond after death are honoured and remembered. The Temple Bon Dance is known for its unique dance style known as 'Jajakku'. The Jajakku has a special atmosphere created by the use of drums and bells ringing in rhythm with the Bon chanting and dancing.
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Amidaji Temple
After a long climb up a mountain near Nachi Falls, you will find Myohozan Amidaji Temple which is also called Nyonin Koya ('sacred mountain for women'). There is a little altar surrounded by stones behind the main building. Ojo Shonin is mentioned in Japanese historical records as a monk who undertook severe practices in Myohozan Amidaji Temple above the Nachi Waterfall. His last practice was his final self-sacrifice. He ate nothing except pine needles, wore paper clothes, sat on the fire wood facing the west and burned himself. The site where he sacrificed himself can be found behind Myohozan Amidaji Temple.
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Jinnoji Temple
This mountain has Jinnoji Temple (which is said to have been founded by Kobodaishi) and Kasaneyama Shrine and has been a center of people’s respect since ancient times. The view from the top of this mountain is famous as it looks over the Pacific Ocean, Nachi Range, Oshima Island and Kushimoto. The name Kaseyama derives from the fact that it seems like you are looking over a layered sea of mountains. You can follow the Kumano Kodo Old Road from the foot of this mountain and imagine how Kobodaishi and the many Kumano Mode pilgrims walked the same road more than 1200 years ago.
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