A large temple in the mountains that was once a center for the Shugendo religion
Tottori PrefectureThis temple was founded about 1,300 years ago. In ancient times, Japan had a religion based on mountain worship and the veneration of nature, called Shugendo (involving belief in enlightenment through harsh ascetic practices amid nature); Daisen-ji flourished as a center for Shugendo, due to its location on the sacred mountain of Daisen.
Standing at the top of a few stone steps, the majestic main hall, which was rebuilt in 1951 after a fire, features green latticed windows and vermilion pillars, and houses the main object of veneration: a statue of the Jizo Bosatsu (Ksitigarbha). The main object of veneration in the Shimoyama-kannondo Hall is the Eleven-faced Kannon Bodhisattva, which is an Important Cultural Property. The Gomado Hall is a place where the ritual of consecrated fire (in which wooden sticks inscribed with prayers are burned for the purpose of purification) is performed before the main object of veneration, a statue of Fudo-myo-o (Acala).
The Amidado Hall is exceptionally splendid and has been designated as an Important Cultural Property. Carved in 1131 and standing about 2.6 m high, although the three wooden statues of the Amitabha Buddha enshrined in this hall represent the deity in a seated position, they have been placed on tall pedestals, so they look even taller. All three are Important Cultural Properties.
In addition, the treasure hall called Reihokaku displays numerous images of the Buddha, including some Important Cultural Properties, as well as other artifacts. The Enryuin subtemple also has images of the Buddha and ceiling paintings, and sometimes holds exhibitions. It's located right next to Daisen-ji, so you can visit both temples at the same time.
Address: 9 Daisen, Daisen-cho, Tottori
Phone: 0859-52-2158 or 0859-52-2502 (Daisen-cho Tourist Information Office)
Hours open to visitors: 9:00 to 16:00
Admission Fee: 300 yen in a form of donation (admission to visit the facility including Homotsu-kan and Reihoukaku (sacred treasure hall))
Closed: Homotsu-kan (treasure hall) is closed between December and March
Directions: Take Nihonkotsu Bus bound for Daisen-ji from Yonago Station (on JR San-in Line, 3 hours and 10 minutes away from Shin-Osaka Station or 1 hour away from Izumo Airport). After the 50-minute bus ride via Kanko Road, get off at Daisen-ji. Then 15-minute walk to the destination.
(Car) 15 minute drive from Mizoguchi Interchange on Yonago Expressway