Taishakuten Eimyo-ji Temple
A temple facing cliffs of Taishaku Valley and Sai-no-kawara cave
(c) Hiroshima PrefectureEstablished by a Buddhist monk Gyoki in 709, the temple is dedicated to Taishakuten, a guardian god of Buddhism. The main hall with gorgeous carving of Azuchi-Momoyama style is definitely worth seeing. The hall is closed to visitors due to a risk of rock slide but it is possible to go to in front of the building.
The soaring cliff is called Mount Sekiun. The main hall in front of the rock wall is impressive. The building, together with the Taishaku River in front and vermilion Taikobashi Bridge made of lime stone, form a complete picture. Trees growing from the rocks behind turn red in late October, which they say are also very beautiful. This is a place blessed with great nature and pleasant air.
Don't miss Sai-no-kawara at the foot of Mount Sekiun, which is a cave generated through erosion of the bottom of the rocks by the Taishaku River (there are a number of caves around here.) Piled stones make a strong impression. They were piled by parents who lost young children and wished them to rest in peace. Without illumination, the cave can be seen in its original dark environment. After contemplating Sai-no-Kawara, you will think it is natural that the temple was built in this mystic place.
It would be fun to rent a bicycle to tour 20-km long Taishaku Valley and visit Taishakuten Eimyo-ji on the way.
Address: 2101 Tojo-cho Taishakumido, Shobara City, Hiroshima
Phone: 08477-2-0525 (Taishakukyo Tourism Association)
Admission Fee: Free admission to the grounds (no entrance to the main hall)
Directions: By train: 25 minutes by Bihoku Kotsu Bus for Taishaku from JR Geibi Line Tojo Station (3 hours and 20 minutes from Shin-Osaka) to Taishaku and a short walk (no service on holidays)
By car: 15 minutes from Tojo Interchange on the Chugoku Expressway