National treasure and nature nestled at the suburb of Kyoto
Text: Keiko Kimura / Photo: Takashi Oka
Kyoto is full of visiting spots for travelers, but there is also plenty in the suburbs within easy access by a short bus trip. Why not take some time to go around such temples surrounded by a great nature, too.
Joruri-ji Temple is at the mountain side of Kamo-cho, Kizukawa City. Many visits here for the Kyutai Temple (temple with 9 Amida Buddhas).
(note: 1-2 statues will be taken away for maintenance from 2017. It is scheduled to take 5 years until all the 9 statues will be returned back together in a line here)
Amida Buddhas lead us to the heaven. People are said to have 9 process of effort and thoughtfulness in order to get there. These 9 process are only known to the Buddhas, not to us.
9 Amida Buddhas were lined up in this temple so that people can come and pray to find a way to heaven.
Next to the large Buddha at the center, there is a jizo statue so that in case the 9 Buddhas cannot save the spirit, this jizo can offer support.
A beautiful garden is taken care in front of the main hall.
Across the pond in the garden, there is the Important Cultural Property of Sanju-no-to (a three-story pagoda), where Yakushi Buddha is placed. To stand next to this pagoda and bow towards the main hall with 9 Amida is the proper way.
In Buddhism, people are said to be born to this world in the east and to finish a life at west. Accordingly, Joruri-ji Temple places Yakushi Buddha who worships the living world, and the Amidas who represents the heaven in the west. This grave expresses such vision.
Tono area is close by to this temple. May temples and training spots had existed before. A walk around this area could find you with numbers of maganbutsu, a stone cliff Buddha.
Of the many maganbutsu, this warai-butsu, laughing Buddha, is worth a visit. This gentle smile waiting you in the quiet bush will offer some tranquil moment.
Kozuya-bashi Bridge is also nice to take a walk for. There is a bit of distance from Tono area, but the Nagare-bashi (floating bridge) has an interesting design that when the river floods, the bridge beam gets washed away.
This 356.6 meters long, 3.3 meters width wooden bridge has no handles, lights nor any households around. It has the scene unchanged from long time ago and has been used for film shooting for some classic Japanese movies.
Kyoto is not only interesting inside the City, but all around the whole of this prefecture.
ADDRESS: 40 Kosatsuba, Kamo-cho, Kizugawa-shi, Kyoto (map)
HOURS: (March-Nov) 9:00- 16:30, (Dec-Feb) 10:00-15:30
ADDRESS: Kizugawa, Yawata-shi, Kumiyama-cho, Kuse-gun (map)
★TRAVEL IDEA ‘10 Things To Do in Kyoto'
① Visiting Temples and Shrines
② Buying souvenirs
③ Visiting Arashiyama・Sagano
④ Having Kyo-ryori
⑤ Wearing Kimono
⑥ Having Japanese tea
⑦ Having seafood
⑧ Visiting shops in Machiya
⑨ Being exposed to a traditional culture
⑩ Feeling nature