November 24, 2013

Ichijo-in Temple on Mount Koya

Ichijoin, in Mount Koya. Said to be built between 810-824, the temple ponders the concept of Maitrea, wherein the prime objective is to seek enlightenment in this lifetime and not live life in preparation for the next one. Like many temples in Koya, this one accommodated lodgers. Photos of their beautiful interiors can be seen here.

A shishi lion and an elephant (on the right, you can see its nose extending) have been carved onto the front gate.

The pattern carved here is the temple's crest, with wisteria blooms in the center.

The main temple may look small and plain from the outside, but I assure you that the inside was fabulous and ornate. You are allowed to take photos only when the doors to the temple are open, and unfortunately, I couldn't find the right timing. Morning ceremonies take place inside from 6 am, in the chilling cold. Built around 840 and fully reconstructed in 2006, the temple was frequented by many feudal lords in the 17th century.

The entrance to the main building, which has been made barrier-free. You take off your shoes before entering, of course.

A peek at what you can find inside. The next post will be a real treat!

No comments: