Bishamon-do Temple (Bishamonten,location,history)

Bishamon-do Temple, Bishamonten

The information about Bishamon-do Temple is presented here. Bishamonten, the main statue of Bishamon-do Temple, is said to have been carved by Dengyo-daishi Saicho himself, the founder of the Tendai sect. Bishamonten is one of the Shitenno, along with Jikokuten, Zojoten, and Komokuten, and is considered the god of war who protects the north. Since the Muromachi period (1336-1573), Bishamonten has been considered one of the Shichi Fukujin, along with Ebisu, Daikokuten, Benzaiten, Jurojin, Fukurokuju, and Hotei, and is considered the god of luck and victory.

【Bishamon-do Temple Location Map & Directions】

Address: 18 Aju Inariyama-cho, Yamashina-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): JR Yamashina Station (about 20 minutes on foot), Keihan Yamashina Station (about 20 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 8:30-17:00
Closed: open year round

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Individual: Adults 500 yen, High School Students 400 yen, Junior High and Elementary School Students 300 yen

【Bishamon-do Temple History】

Bishamon-do Temple (毘沙門堂) is said to have originated in 703 when the monk Gyoki Bosatsu founded Gohozan Izumo-ji Temple in Izumoji, Kamigyo-ku, at the request of the 42nd Emperor Monmu. Gohozan Izumo-ji Temple was built on the north side of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. In the area where Gobozan Izumoji Temple, the predecessor of Bishamon-do Temple, was built, ancient tiles from the early Nara period (710-794) have been unearthed. However, it is not clear whether these are the remains of Gohozan Izumo-ji Temple or not. In 788, Dengyo-daishi Saicho, the founder of the Tendai sect, built a hermitage called Ichijo Shikan-in Temple, the predecessor of Enryaku-ji Temple (延暦寺), which houses the main statue of Yakushi Nyorai, on Mt. Hiei-zan. In 794, the 50th Emperor Kanmu moved the capital to Heian-kyo. In 795, Emperor Kanmu visited to Bishamon-do Temple and was said to have given Bishamonten. Bishamonten is said to have been carved by Dengyo-daishi Saicho himself, using leftover wood from the main statue of Yakushi Nyorai, which was housed in Konpon-Chudo of Enryaku-ji Temple. Bishamonten is one of the Shichi Fukujin in Kyoto and is said to bring good luck for business prosperity and family safety. Bishamonten is also known as Tamonten and is one of the Shitenno, along with Jikokuten, Zojoten, and Komokuten. Bishamonten is considered the god of war, protecting the north. Incidentally, Bishamonten is said to have appeared on the tiger’s hour of the tiger’s day of the tiger’s month in the year of the tiger, and Kurama-dera Temple is said to be the birthplace of the Bishamon worship. In 1160, Bishamon-do Temple was destroyed by fire during the Heiji-no-Ran and devastated. In 1161, Bishamon-do Temple was moved to Kita-Iwakura and burned down in 1163. In 1165, a temporary temple was built at Raigo-in Temple, Ohara. It is said that Bishamon-do Temple was destroyed at the end of the Heian period (794-1185). It is said that in 1195, Taira no Chikanori rebuilt Bishamon-do Temple by combining three temples (Gobo-ji Temple, Byodo-ji Temple, and Soncho-ji Temple) associated with the Heike clan. Three temple buildings were constructed, with Gobo-ji Temple in the center, Byodo-ji Temple to the west, and Soncho-ji Temple to the east, following the model of Konpon-Chudo of Enryaku-ji Temple. Byodo-ji Temple was moved to the site of Gohozan Izumo-ji Temple in 1195. It is said that Bishamon-do Temple was burned down in 1339. In the middle of the Muromachi period (1336-1573), the Onin War (1467-1477) occurred, and Bishamon-do Temple was burned down in 1467. Bishamon-do Temple was rebuilt in 1469, and Bishamon-do Temple was also burned down in 1571. In 1611, Tenkai-daisojo, a Tendai monk and a close associate of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo shogunate, received an imperial order from the 107th Emperor Go-Yozei to rebuild Bishamon-do Temple. However, Tenkai-daisojo died in 1643. It is said that the Edo shogunate gave part of the temple grounds to Anshyo-ji Temple in Yamashina. In 1665, Koukai-daisojo, a disciple of Tenkai-daisojo, rebuilt Bishamon-do Temple at its present location. In the middle of the Edo period (1603-1868), Koben Hoshinno, a prince of the 111th Emperor Gosai, entered Bishamon-do Temple and Bishamon-do Temple became a monzeki temple. After the death of Emperor Gosai, Bishamon-do Temple was given the old palace of the Imperial Palace, and its relocation began in 1686 and was completed in 1693. Bishamon-do Temple was one of the Gokashitu monzeki temples of the Tendai sect in Kyoto, along with Sanzen-in Temple, Myoho-in Temple, Shoren-in Temple, and Manshu-in Temple.
*reference・・・Bishamon-do Temple website

【Bishamon-do Temple Highlights (May be undisclosed)】

★Hondo (Main Hall, 本堂) is said to have been built in 1666 with the help of Tokugawa Ietsuna, the 4th shogun of the Edo shogunate. Hondo houses the statue of Bishamonten, which is said to have been carved by Dengyo-daishi Saicho himself.
★Shinden (宸殿) built in 1693. Koben Hoshinno, a prince of the 111th Emperor Gosai, was given the old palace of the Imperial Palace in 1686, and its construction began in 1686 and was completed in 1693. Shinden is decorated with wall paintings by artist Kano Masunobu.
★Reiden (霊殿) was built in 1563 as Otamaya of the Imperial Palace, and was given to Koben Hoshinno, who moved it to Bishamon-do Temple and built it during the Genroku era (1688-1704). Reiden houses the statue of Amida Nyorai. The ceiling of the Reiden has an “Unryu-zu (Dragon and Cloud)” painting by Kano Yukinobu.
★Bansuien (晩翠園) was created in the early Edo period (1603-1868). Bansuien is a pond spring walking garden. Bansuien is built with a pond, a waterfall that draws water from the river, turtle stones, staggered stones, and zazen stones. In one corner of Bansuien, there is a chozubachi (hand water bowl) made of Kurama natural stone, which was favored by Koben Hoshinno.
毘沙門堂見どころ (Bishamon-do Temple Highlights)

【Events (confirmation required)】

★Hatsu Tora-taisai (初寅大祭) is held every year on the day of the first tiger and the day before and after the first tiger. During Hatsu Tora-taisai, goma-kigan (Goma Prayer) is held to pray for a bountiful harvest, prosperous business, and safety in the home. Tora-no-fukuzasa (lucky bamboo branches) to ward off bad luck are awarded and amazake (sweet sake) is served.
★Setsubun-e (節分会) is held every year on Setsubun. At Setsubun-e, Daihannya Tendoku-hoyo is held to pray for good luck and to ward off bad luck. Mamemaki (bean throwing) by guests and others is also held.
★Kano-kai (観桜会) is held every year on the Sunday closest to April 8th. In Kano-kai, visitors can admire about 50 cherry trees, including weeping cherry and Somei Yoshino, that have been planted. The weeping cherry near Shinden is called “Hannya-zakura” or “Bishamon-shidare.

【Flower Calendar (cherry blossoms, etc )】

★The best time to see cherry blossoms (桜) is around early April. About 50 cherry trees, including Hannya-zakura (Bishamon-shidare),Somei Yoshino, weeping cherry, and ito-zakura, are planted here. Hannya-zakura (Bishamon-shidare), which is more than 150 years old, about 10 meters high, and has branches of about 30 meters.
★The best time to see autumn leaves (紅葉) is from mid-November to late November. Maple trees and other trees are planted, and Bansuien, which is centered around a pond with two central islands, is beautiful. And the Autumn Leaves Tunnel that appears on the approach to Chokushi-mon Gate is also beautiful.
(The best time to see the plants depends on the climate of the year.)

【Telephone (Please refrain from making phone calls.)】

Tel: +81-75-581-0328

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Bishamon-do Temple is the route to Yamashina Sosui on the south side. Along the Yamashina Sosui, there are well-maintained walking paths for residents to enjoy strolling. Yamashina Sosui is one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Kyoto, so it is recommended to visit during the cherry blossom season. In Yamashina Sosui, boats operate on Biwa Sosui.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Bishamon-do Temple, be sure to check the latest information.

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