Daiko-ji Temple (Fukuchiyama City) (大興寺 (福知山市))
There are no records relating to the temple; however, poems remain about a Heian period temple called Shomyo-ji Temple which existed prior to Daiko-ji Temple.
Awakened to chanting from Shomyo-ji Temple, how I long for the Onowaki village.'
It is said that there is a legend about the poet ONO no Komachi: where Komachi ONO had fallen ill and to convalesce took to bathing at 'Onowaki,' a nearby hot spring.
Besides Shomyo-ji Temple of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism, mention is made of two other temples where it is said local village folk made their livings by cultivating temple grounds. Later on the temple fell into ruin.
In 1631, with the arrival of the first chief priest (High Priest Yugen Shorin), Daiko-ji Temple was built in the present location, affiliated with the Nanzen-ji School of the Rinzai Sect and, has been passed down 27 generations to the present day.
The principal object of worship at the temple is the Amida Nyorai (statue of Amitabha Tathagata).
Currently, the forest green tree frog (Rhacophorus arboreus) inhabits and spawns in the temple precincts.
Chief priest His Holiness Sodo ARUGA protects and observes the forest green tree frog.
Since 1997 he has maintained a Forest Green Tree Frog observation web site.
Local folk are fond of the temple which also goes by the popular names 'Green Forest Temple or 'Frog Temple.'
On the hill behind the temple is an old group of tumuli.
The forest green tree frog, which habitats are designated as a natural monument in certain areas, inhabits this area and spawns around May or June each year. The Forest Green Tree Frog observation club holds a 'Green Forest Concert' at 1 PM on the first Sunday in June.
The 2009 'Green Forest Concert' was held on June 7 (Sunday) from 1 PM.
Forest Green Tree Frog (Rhacophorus arboreus)
The forest green tree frog is an endemic species to Japan in the Rhacophoridae family; in specific areas its habitats are designated as a natural monument and protected.
They inhabit Honshu (the main island in the Japanese archipelago) and Sado island and are found from Aomori Prefecture in the North to Yamaguchi Prefecture. The majority of habitats are found adjacent to the Sea of Japan but they are also found in Chiba, Izu and Shizuoka Prefectures. The species is resistant to cold weather.
There has been a decline in habitats due to environmental change.
The forest green tree frog is often mistaken for the Schlegel's green tree frog (Rhacophorus schlegelii) from the same green frog family. However, they can be differentiated by the loudness of their croaks and, color around the eyes.
In Chinese characters, the forest green tree frog is written as 森青蛙 (Moriaogaeru) indicating they live up in trees in forests and are hard to find. During the rainy season around June the frogs descend to ponds where they spawn by affixing white foamy floss-like clumps of eggs to branches of trees that brush the water surface.
The pond at Daiko-ji Temple has been an identified habitat since 1945.
An observation event is held annually to observe and protect the forest green tree frog at which local residents and children can appreciate the impact of environmental issues on nature.
Images of plants are painted on the ceiling.
There is no bell in the belfry in the temple grounds.
On November 15, 1942 during the Pacific War, as part of the war effort the bell was sent to Mitsubishi Mining Co. Ltd smelting works in Uno, Okayama Prefecture.
Since then, the structure has remained empty; however, following petitions by the congregation, a decision was made to recast the bell in April 2010.
30 minutes on foot/8 minutes by taxi from JR Fukuchiyama Station
Sandanike Lake Park