Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage 西国三十三所

On this trip, in April 2017, I was only able to visit five of the 33 temples which form the the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage (西国三十三所, Saigoku Sanjūsan-sho).  This is the oldest pilgrimage trail of Japan, 1300 years old.  I have set the intention to return to the Kansai area to continue on this pilgrimage.

Ishiyama-dera 石山寺

This temple is #13 of the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage and built around 747 CE.  It is located in Otsu, Shiga.  Lucky for us and others who do not have enough time to complete the full pilgrimage in one trip, there is a mini-Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage with a forest walk containing thirty-three small Kannon statues, one representing each of the temples that are part of the pilgrimage. The photo here is of a Kannon statue representing #33 (I can neither remember nor see which one I posed with).

 

Hase-dera 長谷寺

The temple is #8 of the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage and is located in Sakura, Nara Prefecture.  It was first built in 686 CE and features a statue of the eleven-faced Kannon, which is 9.3 metres tall. I paid an extra fee to go into the hall and touch the feet of the statue.

 

Ki-mii-dera 紀三井寺

The temple is #2 of the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage and is located in Wakayama, Wakayama.  It was founded in 770 CE by Iko, a holy priest from China.  This temple enjoyed must prestige and was visited by numerous emperors.  One must climb 231 steps to reach the main temple area.

 

Kokawa-dera 粉河寺

The temple is #3 of the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage and is located in Kinokawa, Wakayama.  It was founded in  the temple was founded in 770 CE by Otomo no Kujiko, a hunter.

 

Katsuō-ji 勝尾寺

The temple is #23 of the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage and located in Minoh, Osaka.  It was built in 765 CE by Prince Kaijō, with the help of the priests, Zenchu and Zensan.  I hiked up there via the waterfall in Minoh, and it was quite tough but well worth it – it ended up being my favourite temple on this visit.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s