Thursday, 17 February 2011

Kitamuki Kanon Temple

Located in Bessho Onsen, Kitamuki Kanon Temple or north-facing hall of the Goddess of Mercy; was founded in the Heian Period (8th-9th century) by Jikaku, the chief priest of Enryakuji Temple, Hieizan. A rare construction in Japan with the hall facing north, it is said that if people visit Zenkoji Temple, which faces south, to pray for their future and happiness after death, and do not pray for divine favor for the present by visiting the north-facing hall of the Goddess of Mercy, their devotions will be unbalanced. 

If you remember my posts about Bessho Onsen earlier, we visited this temple on Day 10 of our trip to Japan.  More posts on the area can be found here.
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This is a post for  Budget Trouble : Show Me Japan. Click the link for more awesome Japan-related blogs.

25 comments:

  1. very nice. your photo are beautiful.

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  2. The temple surrounding is really peaceful and serene.

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  3. @LR,
    It sure is. And it was nice for us to be there without any crowd at all and get a quiet time strolling.

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  4. You are right. Temple or shrine facing to the north is very unlikely in Japan! I would love to visit there someday!

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  5. @Yoshi,
    And I'd love to return one day. There are many interesting sites to visit at Bessho Onsen that we have yet managed to see due to rain when we were there. :(

    I'm such a philistine but what's the significance between north facing and south facing temples?

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  6. nice shrine... wish I could go there with my kids one day!^-^

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  7. @Alice,
    I hope you will someday. And enjoy the hot spring too, while you were there. :)

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  8. Wow that temple is beautiful! I want to go there!

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  9. @Sarah,
    You should. I had a great time visiting not only the temple but the area there too. Awesome place, Bessho Onsen. :)

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  10. I like the temple area - so peaceful : )

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  11. @Foong,
    We were there when it was almost dark so the temple was quite deserted. I bet there'll be a hive of activities at other time. :)

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  12. Ohhhh, what a beautiful place! I love that huge, gnarly tree. ^^

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  13. @Ri,
    Me too! I was drawn to that tree. Should've taken more, better pics of it, now that I think of it. ;)

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  14. Ha! Face south or north is like a fengshui question, huh?!
    Even for a temple. ;)
    Here, people in Britain prefer houses that face south to maximise natural daylight into their houses.

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  15. @London Caller,
    Well... I know squat about fengshui. XD

    I prefer my house be filled with sunlight too, so must emphasize on south facing house next time I go house hunting. ;)

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  16. The huge gnarled tree is definitely a mysterious place to visit. I was hoping to do that someday.

    Cheers!

    Seek No More

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  17. @Kirhat,
    Hope you'll get there.

    Have a great weekend! :)

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  18. when I read the post, I immediately thought - uhu, my mister will be impressed. And then I scroll down to read the comments, and what do I see? He's already been here and complimented you on your knowledge. :-)

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  19. @Anna,
    Yeah, he came visiting early. ^^

    Feeling all better today?

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  20. That temple looks great and I believe it has so much history, remembering that it's from 8th-9th century.
    Great shots.

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  21. @Con Artist Trickster,
    Steeped in history, I agree. Would love to learn about the temple and also the surrounding area more in future. ;)

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  22. I like the perspective of your 3rd photo with the tree towering over the temple. It looks like it has been there as long as the temple.

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  23. @AVCr8teur,
    It sure does, doesn't it? I digged through my photos and saw one photo with info on the tree.

    It called the Aizenkatusra tree and is 1,200years old.

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