Sakuramoto-bo Temple (桜本坊)

Sakuramoto-bo Temple is also a 'goji-in' temple (guardian temple) located in Yoshino-cho, Yoshino County, Nara Prefecture, guarding and maintaining Ominesan (Mt. Omine) Temple, the extraordinary head temple of the Kinpusen Shugen Honshu sect. So many cultural properties have been left in the temple that it can be called a Yamabushi (mountain ascetic) culture hall of fame. En no Gyoja Reiseki Fudasho (sacred site for pilgrimage).

History

Prince Oama (who later became Emperor Tenmu), having escaped from his older brother, Emperor Tenji, was staying in the Hinoo Rikyu imperial villa, which was the predecessor of 'Sakuramoto-bo Temple.'
As the prince dreamed of cherry blossoms in full glory on one winter day and asked Hinoo no Kakujo, a high-ranking disciple of an En no gyoja (semi-legendary holy man noted for his practice of mountain asceticism during the second half of the seventh century) for its meaning, Hinoo no Kakujo answered, 'Cherry blossoms are said to be the king of flowers and the dream is a good omen of your accession to the throne in the near future.'
It is said that Emperor Tenmu, having won the Jinshin War and acceded to the Imperial throne, built a temple in the place where the cherry tree he had dreamed of was standing (Hinoo Rikyu). On the occasion of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's cherry blossom viewing event held in 1594, the temple was used as a lodging house for Kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor) Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI. The temple was initially located in front of Zao-do Hall in Kinpusen-ji Temple and was referred to as Mitsujo-in Temple, but it was renamed 'Sakuramoto-bo' when the separation of Buddhism and Shintoism took place in 1868.

Buildings

Main hall
Hall of various Buddhas

Cultural Properties

Important Cultural Properties
Bronze seated statue of Shaka Nyorai (Shakyamuni)
Wooden seated statue of Jizo Bosatsu (guardian deity of travelers and children)
Wooden statue of En no Ozunu (semi-legendary holy man noted for his practice of mountain asceticism during the second half of the seventh century)
It is considered the most outstanding statue as a sculpture of the Kamakura period, from among a number of En no Gyoja statues enshrined in Shugen sect temples across the country.

Cultural property designated by Nara Prefecture
Fragrant olive (natural monument) in Sakuramoto-bo Temple

Access

Take Yoshino Ropeway from Yoshino Station of the Kintetsu Yoshino Line (Nara Prefecture) to 'Yoshinoyama' (Mt. Yoshino) stop and walk about 30 minutes.