Wakayama: Kokawadera (Temple)

Located in Kinokawa City in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan, Kokawadera Temple (粉河寺) is temple #3 in the Saikoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage of Western Japan.

Kokawadera Temple was built during the 18th century during the mid-Edo period. However, its original structure was established in 770AD under the supervision of Otomo no Kujiko of the Tendai Sect.
Pathway going to the temple
Can you please help me translate the names of the structures in the map?
Here are the structures in the temple vicinity:
大門(Dai-mon) : Main gate
念仏堂(Nenbutsu-do): Nenbutsu is nianfo, pray for Buddha

Some mini human figurines found in one of the shrines called a Mizuko or water babies.
It is said that Kokawadera Temple is one of the largest temples in Wakayama Prefecture and in the Saikoku Pilgrimage Circuit. Its temple complex includes smaller temples, shrines, gardens and halls dedicated to Buddhist Monks. There is also a Daimon (front gate) and another beautiful large gate near the Hondo called a Chumon. Most of these large structures which were made in the 18th century was made using Zelkova wood which was a popular material for wooden structures during the Edo period.
The inner 大門 Dai-mon near the temple
The four guardians found in the gate near the temple

We visited Kokawadera Temple on our 14th day of stay in Japan which is actually the 1st of January. Our main reason when we visited the temple was to accompany our Japanese family on their religious obligations during the Japanese New Year.
The snow gave a more dramatic effect to the Kokawadera (temple) Hondo
Mr. Toshi explaining how the religious ceremony goes
Check out that golden image
Religious objects are sold at the temple complex

The 鐘楼(Shoro): bell tower is located just beside Kokawadera (temple)
We got to ring the bell!
Inside the temple
It snowed hard when we left. Thank God we made it home safely.
During our visit, we experienced a snow storm and for the first time in our stay I actually experienced being frost bitten. Overall, our trip to Kokawadera Temple was memorable because we managed to learn the step by step process of the Buddhist religious activities during the Japanese New Year.

Getting there:

Ride a JR train going to JR Kokawa Station. From the station, Kokawadera Temple is just a 15 minute walk away.

Overall rating


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