Day 6: No.22 Byodo-ji (平等寺)

The signboard is warning about Iwaya-michi

Iwaya-michi starts from really steep uphill (more than 30 degrees, I felt), and probably because of that, I found a sign post saying that you should recite “南無大師遍照金剛” while climbing up, so that Kobo-Daishi will help you. Then after a while, I found yet another signboard saying…

  • Iwaya-michi is old unpaved mountain road, you need to have appropriate equipment
  • You should not enter after 14:00 nor if it’s raining

Hmm, it’s bit scary 🙁

You can find these Jizo every 109 meters (1 cho – 1 丁)

There’re indeed bit narrow and dangerous place in Iwaya-michi, however, the problem for me is the burden to my knees from the continuous steep downhill. My left knees now soars very much, and I can only walk slowly…

Beautiful sato-yama view

Honestly I’m really relieved when I saw village in front of me, and it was also lucky that there’s Henro resting place.

Azehi Henro goya (The resting space for pilgrims)

I took a rest at this Henro goya, then checked my knees and legs. I also called Saba-Daishi (鯖大師) which provide Shukubo service, for tomorrow’s accommodation, but in vain. It seems that there’re too few walking pilgrims in this season, so they’re closed…Let me check the hotel in Kochi prefecture once I arrive at today’s guest house.

Beautiful bamboo forest

Interesting Henro goya building along the route

According to the map, there’s one more mountain that I should pass. However, I’m pretty sure that it should not be tough trail like Kakurin-ji nor Tairyu-ji, so I force myself to go. I could reach the highest point of the mountain rather easily, but the downhill is problematic. It’s in fact first time to face such a challenge during this pilgrimage.

The main gate of No.22 Byodo-ji

In such a bad condition, I could manage to arrive No.22 Byodo-ji almost according to the plan.

This hemp cord is directly connected to the main image of this temple
People who cannot go up to the main temple can still worship from here

At the main gate, you find this hemp cord which is directly connected to the main image of this temple – Yakushi-Nyorai. It is said that if you touch it while reciting mantra you’ll get benefit, so I tried it. These threads of five different colors is used to ward off evil.

The mountain over there looks like the Buddha is laying down (the left side is the head)

There’re some coins on each step

At the upstairs to the main temple, there’re some coins in each step. People who’s in critical age (age 25 and 42 for man, 19 and 33 for women) comes here and put one coin per each step to remove his/her unlucky.

The main temple of No.22 Byodo-ji

The ceiling pictures in the main temple

The ceiling pictures in the main temple was indeed beautiful. The pictures are mainly about grass and flowers, and vivid colors are kept.

The temple stamp of No.22 Byodo-ji

Dedicated toYakushi-Nyorai (薬師如来)
Founded byKobo-Daishi (弘法大師)
DenominationSingon-sect Koya-group (真言宗高野派)
Mantraおん ころころ せんだり まとうぎ そわか
On Korokoro Sendari Matougi Sowaka
Next templeNo.23 Yakuo-ji (22.4 Km away)
Previous templeNo.21 Tairyu-ji (10.9 Km away)
No.22 Byodo-ji