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Temple 60, Yokomine-ji

The Temple on the Side of the Ridge

Temple 60, Yokomine-ji

Yokomine-ji, The Temple on the Side of the Ridge, is temple No. 60 on the Shikoku pilgrimage, or Henro. It stands in the foothills of Mt. Ishizuchi in Saijō. 

Located high up on a mountainside, Yokomine-ji is one of several of the hardest temples to reach on the pilgrimage. The founder of the pilgrimage, Kūkai, is said to have practiced austerities here. A short walk up the mountain behind the temple brings you to Hoshigamori, a mountain where Kūkai performed a star ritual. Today this is the Okunoin or inner sanctuary of Yokomine-ji. It offers a truly spectacular view of Mt. Ishizuchi, the highest mountain in western Japan.   

In the Edo period, travel was regulated by gated checkpoints called ‘sekisho’. On the pilgrimage, there are ‘sekishodera’ in each of the provinces, and these temples are considered spiritual checkpoints, places for the pilgrim to reflect on their progress. Yokomine-ji is the sekishodera of Ehime.

Information

Name in Japanese: 横峰寺

Pronunciation: yoko-mi-ne-ji

Address: 2253 Komatsucho Ishizuchi, Saijo, Ehime 799-1112

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