Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mt. Takao: Yakuo-in Temple

On Mt. Takao is the Takaosan Yakuoin Temple. Built in 744 by Gyoki Bosatsu under the direction of Emperor Shōmu, it has an amazing history and is the home to thousands of ancient documents.

Emperor Shōmu is also behind the construction of the Nihon-ji Daibutsu. The Temple is dedicated to Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha. The Daibutsu (大仏) at the Nihon-ji Temple and Monastery complex on Mt. Nokogiri is a statue of the Medicine Buddha. Note the medicine bowl in his hands.

Detail of the Stone Buddha on Mt. Nokogiri
On our way down from the summit of Mt. Takao we came to our first encounter with the Temple complex.

Okunoin Fudou-do Hall
The Okunoin Fudou-do was originally called the Goma-do and was located near the Main Hall, but was moved to its present location at the upper-rear edge of the Temple property.

The Main Hall
During the hiking season there are large crowds visiting the Temple and buying souvenirs (omiyage - お土産 ).

The Monastery. Visitors cannot enter this area.

The Izuna Gongen-do Hall
The Temple has an official web site in Japanese and English. Go there are read about the history of the Temple. You can also read about the various festivals held there and the etiquette to be practiced there.