Kichiden-ji Temple (Ikaruga-cho) (吉田寺 (斑鳩町))

Kichiden-ji is a temple of the Jodoshu sect of Buddhism located in Ikaruga-cho, Ikoma County, Nara Prefecture. The temple is also known as a "pokkuri-dera," where worshipers pray for their own "pokkuri" death (i.e. they hope to pass away without having any extra suffering) and thus attracts elderly worshipers. Shoryoden, a building to worship the Prince Shotoku, and a multi-story pagoda that was built in 1652 are designated as Cultural Properties of Japan.

History

The temple was reputedly founded at the imperial order of the Emperor Tenchi, whose reign was in the seventh century, and the ancient burial mound of Hashihito no himemiko, a younger sister of the Emperor, is within its vicinity. But it is also said that the temple was founded by Eshin Sozu (Genshin) of the Tendaishu sect in 987 in the Heian period.

Buildings

Hondo (main hall)
Tahoto, multi-story pagoda (Important Cultural Property of Japan) - The inscription indicates that it was built in 1463. This is a small but well-balanced, beautiful pagoda, and it contains a statue of Dainichi Nyorai (Vairocana), which is not disclosed to the public.

Cultural Properties

Wooden seated statue of Amida Nyorai (Amitabha Tathagata) (Important Cultural Property) - a statue of Joroku, which is considered to be full-scale, having one jo and six shaku (or about 4.8 meters), holding a legend that says Eshin Sozu (Genshin) created this statue out of an enormous chestnut tree, and the worshipers of this statue of Buddha can pass away without having any problems below the waist.

Access

From Oji Station of the JR Yamatoji Line and the Kintetsu Ikoma Line, take a Nara Kotsu Bus and get off at 'Tatsuta-jinja-mae' bus stop, along with a little walk.