【四国遍路】85番札所 高松市 八栗寺 Yakuri-ji Temple

◼️English Wikipedia




◼️Temple No. 85, Yakuri-ji


Yakuri-ji is temple No. 85 on the Shikoku pilgrimage, or Henro. It’s located high on a mountainside to the east of Yashima. The temple can be accessed on foot using the Henro path, by car, and by cable car. There’s a wealth of things to see at this large temple compound. Yakuri-ji is sacred to Kangiten, the deity of bliss. Kangiten is believed to be beneficial for business prosperity, academic achievement, and marriage, and is consequently worshipped assiduously, bringing in a good income for this prosperous temple.

What to see
Walking pilgrims climb up the mountain from the west. Before the path enters the temple, you come to Sainokawara, the Children’s Limbo, which is said to be the boundary between the human world and the sacred place. In a direct line with the approach to the main hall is a platform with a seated statue of Kūkai called the Welcoming Daishi. This lookout offers a striking view over the Sanuki Plain dotted with the interestingly shaped mountains of Kagawa.

enter from the main gate, which houses colourful statues of deities Jikokuten and Tamonten as guardians. The temple office is the first major building on the left. Next to it is the Shōten Hall, which was built in 1677. A statue of the eleven-faced Kannon stands next to the hall.

The main hall is the largest building facing the main gate on a raised platform. The belfry next to it was built in 1791. In the courtyard before the main hall is a linden tree, which is about fifty years old. The original tree is said to have been planted by Kūkai.

A long flight of steps goes up behind and to the left of the main hall to the Chūjōbō Hall. The hall is dedicated to Chūjōbō, one of the three major tengu of Sanuki. One-toothed geta clogs can be seen at the side of the building.

Proceeding to the right from in front of the main hall, you pass around an outcrop of rock and come to a seated statue of Ikū, a priest in the early Edo period who ate only seeds and grass. Next is a Jizō Hall and the Daishi Hall, and further beyond that is a two-storey pagoda built in 1984. The path continues around with steps up to a collection of statues representing the whole Shikoku pilgrimage. Further round still is a separate, rather luxurious compound housing the head priest’s quarters. You can walk through its grounds, or follow the path round to the left.

If you use the cable car, you come out of the mountaintop station and pass under a torii gate. The head priest’s quarters is ahead of you.

Kūkai founded the temple here in 829.

Yakuri-ji was completely destroyed during the invasion of Shikoku, but the main hall was rebuilt in the 1590s. A statue of the deity Kangiten, presented to the temple by Emperor Go-Mizu-no-O who reigned from 1596, is enshrined in the Shōten Hall.

In 1642, the lord of the Takamatsu domain, Matsudaira Yorishige, rebuilt the current main hall and called it Kanjizai-in with Kannon as its principal image. The main gate and main hall were rebuilt by the third feudal lord Matsudaira Yoritoyo in 1709. The great earthquake that caused the eastern peak of Mt. Goken to collapse in 1706 may also have affected the temple.

When Kūkai trained in the Kokuzo-Gumonji method here, five swords descended from heaven and Zaō Gongen appeared, telling him that this place was a sacred place. Kūkai buried the swords and carved a statue of Dainichi Nyorai in the rock. He named the mountain Mt. Goken (Five Sword Mountain) as a talisman and founded the temple here in 829.

The summit of Mt. Goken had a good view over eight domains that existed at that time, so Kūkai named the temple Hachikoku-ji, The Temple of the Eight Domains. Before he went to China, Kūkai planted eight roasted chestnuts here as a test of the Buddhist power that he sought on the mainland. After returning to Japan, he found that the chestnuts had miraculously grown despite their roasting, and he renamed the temple Yakuri-ji, the Temple of the Eight Chestnuts. (We strongly suspect that this just-so story was invented to cover up a kanji copying error.)

Chūjōbō is a tengu worshiped at the temple. This tengu comes down from the mountain at night, performs good deeds, and returns in the morning. If geta clogs are left beside the hall and they’re found to be dirty the next day, it’s a sign that the tengu was at work.


Shoutendo is located next to the main hall, and is enshrined by Mokujiki Shounin the heavenly gifts from Former Emperor, Emperor Go-Mizu-no-O and the Empress Gomizu no O-Tennou O-Hitou Fukumon-in. It is said that praying here will bring benefits in prosperous business, academic achievement, and marriage, and is lovingly called “Yakuri no Shouten-san”. 

Chujoubo Nakashobo is enshrined in the Chushobo temple that is built behind the main hall. A tengu who comes down from the mountain at night and does good for the people and goes home in the morning. There are clogs that are dedicated to the side of the Nakashoboudo, and if the clogs are dirty the next day, it was a sign that Nakashobo worked the night before.

●The history and origin of Yakuriji

On the east side of Yashima, there is Five Peak Mountain range with an altitude of 375m across the old battlefield of Genpei. A mysterious mountain like a sword pushed up from the ground. Yakuriji is at the 8th station, and many pilgrims ascend by cable car. In the 6th year of the Tenchō era, when Daishi climbed this mountain and mastered the Gomonjihō method, five swords came out and the mountain guardian Zao Gongen appeared. And he said to Daishi, “This mountain is a sacred place that is suitable for Buddhism”, so Daishi buried those swords in the mountains to protect them and carved a statue of Dainichi Nyorai and named this place Gokkenyama (The Mountain of Five Swords).

It was originally named Hokukokuji Temple, as from the top of Mt. Gokken, you could overlook the four sides of Shikoku, including Iki, Awa, and Bizen,. Throughout the calendar years, the teacher climbed the mountain again before studying in Tang. Eight roasted chestnuts were planted by Daishi to determine the success or failure of the Nitto Law. When he returned home safely and visited again, the baked chestnuts that would not sprout had sprouted. This is why the name was changed from Hokukokuji to Yakuriji. This temple was also burnt down by Chōsokabe’s solders. However, during the Edo era, Muhen Shounin rebuilt the main hall (Mima Shimen), and the Takamatsu feudal lord, Matsudaira Yorishige revived the current main hall, and enshrined Kobo Daishi’s sacred Bodhisattva as the principle deity, and came to call it Kanjiin. Gokenzan suffered a big earthquake in the 3rd year of the Hōei era, (1706), and one of the eastern ridges collapsed from the middle creating the present shape we see today.

●The highlights of Yakuriji

Seitendo, Nakashobodo, Taoshido beside Taho Tower and Belfry Hall (established in 1791 in Kansei 3) There is an art lantern with the name: “For Watanabe, there is a place for hikers”

◼️八栗寺 英語



Yakuri-ji temple (Japanese八栗寺) is a temple of the Shingon sect of Buddhism in the city of Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture. 
It is the 85th temple of the Shikoku pilgrimage route and is commonly called Yakuri-san (八栗山).

The temple was built in the Enkyu era (782-806) by priest Kūkai, who donated a self-made thousand-armed Kannon as a devotional figure to the temple. 
The temple was originally called Yakuni-dera (八国寺), but Kūkai buried eight chestnuts (kuri) there before traveling to China. 
On his return in 806 he found the chestnuts, now grown into eight stout trees, giving the temple its current name.
The high temple can now also be reached by mountain railway. 
It is situated on a rise below the rocky peak of Gokenzan (五剣山), which has been a Buddhist place of worship since ancient times and to which tradition has it a pilgrimage route led until the Middle Ages. In 1583, Chōsokabe Motochika’s troops invaded here and fought Nakamura Sōboku (中村宗卜) at nearby Yakuri Castle, which existed at the time. Almost all the buildings of the temple were lost.
When peace returned to the country with the Edo period, Lord Matsudaira Yorishige (松平頼重; 1622–1965) had the main hall rebuilt during the Shōhō era (1644–1648) and donated a thousand-armed Kannon as a devotional figure to the temple. In 1709 the 3rd prince, Matsudaira Yoritoyo (松平頼豊; 1680-1735) had the temple complex further expanded, giving it approximately the appearance it has today.
The attachment
Once you have the compact temple gate, executed here as the Niō Gate (仁王門; 1), you come to the main hall (本堂, Hondō; 2) with the Gokenzan in the back.
 On the left is the Shōtendō (聖天堂; 3), in which the Kannon attributed to Kūkai is worshipped. She is revered by many believers as her worship is said to bring wealth and numerous offspring. To the right of the main hall, 50 m away, is the “Temple Founder’s Hall” Daishidō (大師堂; 4) and the Treasure Pagoda (多宝塔, Tahōtō; 5). Next to the Shōtendō is a large administration building (6) which includes a service area at the front.


Tengu (Japanese: 天狗, lit. ’Heavenly Dog’ or ‘Heavenly Sentinel’) are a type of legendary creature found in Japanese folk religion (Shinto). They are considered a type of yōkai (supernatural beings) or Shinto kami (gods or spirits). The Tengu were originally thought to take the forms of birds of prey and a monkey deity, and they are traditionally depicted with human, monkey, and avian characteristics. Sarutahiko Ōkami is considered to be the original model of Konoha-Tengu (a supernatural creature with a red face and long nose), which today is widely considered the Tengu’s defining characteristic in the popular imagination. He is the Shinto monkey deity who is said to shed light on heaven and earth. Some experts theorize that Sarutahiko was a sun god worshiped in the Ise region prior to the popularization of Amaterasu.

Buddhism long held that the Tengu were disruptive demons and harbingers of war. Their image gradually softened, however, into one of protective and even manifestations of Buddhist deities, if still dangerous, spirits of the mountains and forests. Tengu are associated with the ascetic practice of Shugendō, and they are usually depicted in the garb of its followers, the yamabushi.


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