(as seen on October 8th, 2001,
on the Old Tokaido stage of the Aki
Ishiyamadera is between Kusatsu in Shiga
Prefecture (Station #53) and Kyoto, the southern end of the Old Tokaido Highway. You can read about my visit to
Ishiyamadera in my Logbook. You may also choose to start reading about
journey at the beginning, or start at the top of my Aki
Temple #13 of the Saigoku Sanjusan Reijo--the 33 Temples
in Kansai Sacred to Kannon, Goddess of Mercy.
I first visited here in November of 2000; I completed the
pilgrimage little by little over a two-year period, finishing in
Spring of this year (2001).
Here's the Sanmon or "mountain gate," also
called a Niomon because it contains...
|...the Nio or "two
kings," who were discussed more thoroughly in the Words and
Pictures for Kasadera.
||Ishi means "stone"
(as in ishidatami);
Ishiyamadera means "Stone Mountain Temple," so-called
because of the presence of a rare rock called "Wollastonite"--so
rare, in fact, that I never heard of it before. Behind the
stones in this picture is a pagoda, discussed below. Notice that
the autumn colors have begun to arrive.
|This is Murasaki
Shikibu, author of
the world-renowned Tale of Genji, often considered to be
the world's first novel. Tradition says she wrote part of
it here. Presumably they didn't have to keep her behind
chicken wire in those days.
||The hondo or main hall is the
oldest building in Shiga Prefecture, parts of it dating back
more than 850 years. It was a real delight to pray
here again, in a large dark hall open to views on two sides.
The little fenced window in the foreground is where Lady
Murasaki's dummy sits.
|Here is the tahoto or
"treasure pagoda" mentioned above. Built by
Yoritomo Minamoto (Japan's first shogun) more than 750
years ago, it is said to be Japan's oldest. As such, it is
featured on the 4-yen stamp.