Butsuryu-ji Temple (仏隆寺)

Butsuryu-ji is a temple belonging to the Murou-ji School of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, and is located in Akabane in Haibara-cho, Uda City, Nara Prefecture. Its sango (literally "mountain name" a title prefixed to the name of a Buddhist temple) is Mount Manisan. Its principal image is of a Juichimen (eleven faced) Kannon.

Overview

The temple is a branch temple of Muro-ji Temple, and it is built as the south gate of the principal temple.

A legend says that Kobo Daishi (Kukai) once cultivated tea trees here, which he himself brought back from Tang Dynasty China (the first time in Japan), and because of this episode this place is regarded as the birthplace of Yamato Cha (a brand name for the tea leaves produced in the Yamato region, similar to present-day Nara Prefecture). During Higan, the autumn equinoctial week, both sides of the stone stairway going up to the temple are filled with the blossoms of red spider lily flowers.

History

A temple legend says that the temple was founded by Kenne, a high caliber disciple of Kobo Daishi (Kukai) in 850, but another legend suggests the temple was built before that time, by Shuen of Kofuku-ji Temple.

Cultural Properties

Ishimuro (rock chamber), an Important Cultural Property; inside the chamber there is a five-story pagoda which is reputedly the grave of Kenne.

Thirteen-story pagoda; the inscription indicates that it was built in 1330.

An enormous cherry blossom tree at Butsuryu-ji Temple (a Natural Monument designated by Nara Prefecture)
Tea-grinding hand mill; it is believed that Kukai brought this back from the Tang dynasty China.

Access

From Haibara Station on the Kintetsu Osaka Line, take the Nara Kotsu bus bound for Kaminouchimaki and Sone-mura Yakuba mae, and get off at Takai bus stop, from which it is thirty minutes on foot.