Day 25: No.58 Senyu-ji (仙遊寺)

Cute handmade sign post

Shimanami Sea Route can be seen

The henro route to Senyu-ji was different from what I had expected, as it was mainly mountainous. It was also quite steep. As I gradually climbed up, I could see the city of Imabari and the Shimanami Sea Route.

The main gate of No.58 Senyu-ji

Dynamic and powerful Nio-statue

The main gate of Senyu-ji finally came into my view. The Nio-statue here is quite dynamic and powerful, including its expression.

It seems it’s Fukūkensaku Kannon from No.9 Yamato Nan-en-do of Saigoku 33 sacred temples

The walk from the main gate to the main temple was quite steep, and there were various Jizo statues along the way.

The main temple of No.58 Saiyu-ji

Senjyu-Kanzeon-Bosatsu – the principal image of No.58 Senyu-ji

When I finally reached the top, I found Osuna-fumi-dojo of the 88 sacred places on Shikoku Island. There is a magnificent main temple and a rather small Taishi-do. There seemed to be enough time to recite sutra and mantra. Interestingly, temple stamp was provided to the pilgrims inside the main temple. While he was writing the script on the temple stamp, he asked if I would be staying at the temple today and to relax at the pilgrim’s lodge.


The temple stamp of No.58 Senyu-ji

Senyu-ji has prilgrim’s lodge

A cozy room at the pilgrim’s lodge of Senyu-ji

There was no TV in the room as in the pilgrim’s lodge, but there is a wonderful view of Imabari, and the bath is a natural hot spring!

Japanese vegetarian cuisine for Buddhist monks

It was Valentine’s Day yesterday, so they offered me some chocolates. I was told that a Belgian woman who visits this pilgrim’s lodge every year sends them chocolates, so they offered part of it to pilgrims staying here. Dinner was Japanese vegetarian cuisine, and was delicious and beautiful, including a thick taste sesame tofu and brown rice. I was surprised to be able to order beer, and was especially surprised by the tangerine peel tempura, which was really delicious.

I could see the sunrise from the room

The morning air was crisp and there was a morning religious service at 6:00 a.m.

Morning religious service at Senyu-ji


The atmosphere was solemn in front of the Senjyu-Kanzeon-Bosatsu (Thousand-armed Kanzeon Bosatsu). When the priest began to read the Heart Sutra, we burned incense and read the sutra together. I was grateful for the quiet and solemn time. After that, the chief priest gave a talk.

The priest lost his wife due to cancer about two years ago, and he himself is undergoing treatment for cancer. When his wife passed away, he did the pilgrimage on foot while sleeping in the open. He became a priest even though his parents were not. Being a priest, he came to realize that he is what he is because of the support of his parents, ancestors and his parishioners and that how important it is to be grateful.

In fact, he is the founder of the initiative to register the Shikoku Pilgrimage Route as the World Heritage Site. He said that rather than religions or buildings, he wants to convey the beauty of the fact that this route has been protected by local people for over 1,000 years and that there are still people walking along it. I could sympathize with his thought very much, so I signed the petition. His lecture also made me think deeply about the importance of gratitude, which I have felt a lot throughout this pilgrimage. People who joined the morning service were allowed to take photos of the temple inside, so I took some to remind myself of the atmosphere.

The breakfast is also vegetarian cuisine

It was quite special and memorable moment. Breakfast was served afterwards, simple but tasty.

The view from the room was amazing

Dedicated toSenjyu-Kanzeon-Bosatsu (千手観世音菩薩)
Founded byOchi Moriko (越智守興)
DenominationShingon-sect Koya-group (真言宗高野派)
Mantraおん ばざらたらま きりく
On Bazaratarama Kiriku
Next templeNo.59 Kokubun-ji (6.1 Km away)
Previous templeNo.57 Eifuku-ji (2.4 Km away)
No.58 Senyu-ji

Hotel fee6000 JPY
Personal rating★★★★★
Senyu-ji pilgrim’s lodge