I was surprised to see so many ponds along the route from Daiko-ji to Iyadani-ji (Indeed, Kagawa is famous for it).
Unfortunately, on the way to Iyadani-ji, it started raining so hard that I could hardly take any picture. As I approached Iyadani-ji, the first thing I saw on the road was the 8-chome Daishi-do, next to which there was a footbath. Too bad that I could not use it due to this heavy rain…
Before visiting Iyadani-ji, I went to “Iyadani Onsen Mino” where I planed to stay tonight, and asked them to keep my luggage. I’m prepared now for climb up to the temple 🙂
It seemed there’s quite a distance from the main gate to the main temple, and it looked like a shuttle bus was in operation. There was teahouse called “Haiku Chaya”, which was a bit dark and took some courage to enter. The area around the main gate was nice in the rain.
But… stairs, stairs, stairs…
The staircase with the impressive red handrail has 108 steps. Next to the staircase, there was a signboard that said that 108 had three meanings:
First, it is the number of afflictions. From ancient time, in India, 108 means tremendous number. Second, it represents the year, with 12 months, 24 seasons, 72 weather patterns (the ancient Chinese system of seasons). And the sum of 12, 24 and 72 is 108. Finally, it comes from removing 四苦八苦 (it means being great trouble, and it sounds “4, 9, 8, 9” in Japanese). 4×9 + 8×9 = 108. Hmm 🙂
As I climbed up, I could see some buildings, but the main temple was still ahead. From here on, I could see Jizo statues carved into large rocks and built small halls in the gaps between the rocks. Quite unique atmosphere.
After climbing up 540 steps, the small and simple main temple appeared which is surrounded by rocky mountains.
The Taishi-do is an indoor temple, so I have to take off my shoes to enter the building. The part where the Kobo-Daishi is enshrined is like a rock shrine. The atmosphere was such that I was afraid to take pictures.