Unfortunately, I don’t have that much to tell you about Negoro-ji apart from the fact that it’s the 82nd Temple of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, that it is located in a forest on top of a small mountain from which the view of Sakaide, Takamatsu, and parts of the Seto Inland Sea is simply superb, and that the temple itself, hidden in the forest, is simply gorgeous.
After looking here and there for information about the temple, I can add that it has a national Important Cultural Artifact in it. It is the Senju Kannon Ryu-zo, a statue that is shown to the public only once every 33 years. The last time was in 2003 so I guess we’ll have to be patient if we want to see it one day. The temple also has two prefectural Important Cultural Artifacts, a Godai Myo-o and Hakkō Keyaki (I’ll explain what it is in a few lines). There are also a lot of Momiji all around the temple, which must make it look simply amazing around this time of the year (but when I was there in October, there were still all green).
Negoro-ji means “the Temple of the Root Perfume.” It comes from the fact that the Senju-Kannon statue was carved from a root and a delicious perfume came out of it when the statue was being sculpted. Actually, the name Kagawa (“Perfumed River”) itself may come from that legend too, as the perfume from the root would have come down to the valley, carried by the water of the river running from that mountain.
All in all, it is a wonderful temple if you like nature and I really advise you to visit it if you get the chance (it definitely a must-see when you visit Kagawa).
Hakkō Keyaki is a tree that is 1600 years old. However, it died a few decades ago.
The trunk has been kept anyway, as it is that sacred.
There were also quite a few Ohenro pilgrims. (October must be a good month for the pilgrimage, neither too hot nor too cold, neither too wet nor too dry)
These statues are named Kobekannon (“god with a cow head”), I’ll explain why another day.
Ushi Oni, the forest monster that welcomes you when you arrive at the temple. I’ll tell you its story in the future too.
One more calligraphy signature (84 to go to complete my collection)