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Temple 45, Iwaya-ji

The Temple of the Cave in the Rock

Temple 45, Iwaya-ji

Iwaya-ji is temple No. 45 on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, or Henro. The temple is located on Kuma Highland in a gorge formed of conglomerate rock. It inspires awe, from the trek up the hillside, to its location embedded in a pock-marked cliff. Its buildings, dating from several periods, are beautiful, especially its art deco Daishi hall built in the 1920s. 

At an altitude of 585 m, this temple is one of the nansho (difficult to reach places) of Ehime and mountain recluses and wandering holy men once performed their religious disciplines among the cliffs here. For extra difficulty, you can opt to climb up a steep wooden ladder to reach a large indentation in the cliff.

If there’s one temple on the pilgrimage you really should visit in Ehime, Iwaya-ji is it. The hike from Temple 44, Daihō-ji is one of the prettiest on the pilgrimage trail.

Information

Name in Japanese: 岩屋寺

Pronunciation: iwa-ya-ji

Address: Nanatori 1468, Kumakogencho, Kamiukena District, 791-1511 Ehime

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