SETOUCHI TOURS​

SETOUCHI TOURS

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Temple 12, Shōsan-ji

The Temple of the Burnt Mountain

Temple 12, Shōsan-ji

Shōsan-ji is temple No. 12 on the Shikoku pilgrimage, or Henro. Located at 800 m up a mountain, it’s the second highest temple on the pilgrimage, and it’s known as a nansho, or ‘difficult place’, with a lot of up and down along the way. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Awaji Island. However, the temple is frequently wreathed in cloud, making it very atmospheric.

Kūkai, founder of the pilgrimage, is said to have trapped a fire-breathing dragon in the mountain above the temple. It was at this temple that the first pilgrim, Emon Saburō, finally caught up with Kūkai after some twenty circuits of Shikoku. After begging forgiveness for his wickedness, Saburō died and was buried by Kūkai. This scene is memorialised by a statue not far from Shōsan-ji.

Work on the garden began in 1687 in the Edo period on the orders of the feudal lord Ikeda Tsunamasa. It took until 1700 to complete. A few changes were made in later periods such as the addition of the hill, but otherwise, the garden remains largely as it was in the Edo period.

Information

 

Name in Japanese: 焼山寺

Pronunciation: 
shō-san-ji

Address:
 318 Shimobun Kamiyamacho, Myozai, Tokushima Prefecture 771-3421

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