Engyoji Temple of Mt. Shosha is the largest temple out of thirty-three temples on the western side of Japan. It is a temple of a special mountain main temple of Tendai sect which is so high as to be called “West Mt. Hiei”. It is located in a place called Himeji a little away from Kyoto. However, it seems that there were many emperors who visited the royal family and the aristocracy, and they often visited there. Engyoji Temple was opened by Saint Shoku in 966 during the Heian era.
Engyoji Temple is located at the summit of Mt.Shosha in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture. Mt.Shosha is a mountain with a height of 371 meters. To go to the summit you need to use the ropeway or climb it for about an hour. This ropeway has a capacity of 70 people. It can carry lots of passengers at once. About 4 minutes from the base of the foot, arrive at the entrance of Mt.Shosha. About 20 minutes on foot from there, you get to the “Niomon Gate”.
The “Mani-den Hall” is said to have been built in 970. Once upon a time there was a cherry tree in this place, Saint Shoku witnessed that celestial being worshiped to the tree. Later there is a legend that he carved Nyoirin Kanzeon Bosatsu on the living tree and made it the principal image. It is said that Mani-den Hall which restores this principal image was built on the cherry-blossom tree, so it was a stage leaning against the slope of the mountain.
The “Dai-kodo Hall” (Great Lecture Hall) is built on the right side towards the square. It was founded in 986 by Emperor Kazan ‘s petition and it is said to have given the temple’s title “Engyoji” at this time. It is said that this place was a place for academic and practical training where lectures and discussions of sutras had been held.
“Jogyodo Hall” is built on the left side of the square. It seems that the age of its foundation is unknown. Jogyodo Hall is a dojo for Jogyo Zanmai (Constantly Walking Samadhi in Tendai sect). It is said that a stage was set up facing the “Dai-kodo Hall” and dancing and the court music of Japan were done to dedicate Shaka Nyorai (Shakyamuni).
Engyoji Temple is a temple located at the western end of the thirty-three sacred grounds in Saigoku (western part of Japan)). Here, the temple site is also wide, many of the fine shrine halls are well aligned, and many cultural properties are stored. Also, it is famous as a scenic spot for autumn leaves.
|Address:||Shosha 2968 Himeji, Hyogo 671-2201 Japan|
|Access:||From Himeji Station of JR or Sanyo Electric Railway Company
Please take the bus for Mt. Shosha Ropeway and get off at the last stop.
It takes approx. 30 minutes from Himeji Station to the Mt. Shosha Ropeway Station.
|Price/Charge:||500 yen (Adult)
Free (Under Junior High School Students)