The second temple I visited on the Shikoku Pilgrimage was #51, 石手寺 (Ishite-ji).
This temple was AWEsome! So much to look at! Hunter and I walked to it from the Dogo Onsen area. The first thing we saw, walking alongside the temple grounds, was something golden up in the trees. We decided to circle around to the front before adventuring to it.
There were lots of statues by the entrance.
The whole walkway up to the temple was covered and lined with shops. Unfortunately, they were all closed. At the end was a huge gate.
After getting the stamp from this building…
…we explored the area a bit. We walked through the garden, around the pagoda…
…to the main temple, then kept walking and discovered a cave. We paid a small entrance fee (honor system) then continued in. Inside the dimly lit tunnel were many small statues separating the path in two. It was hard not to trip over them! Eventually, we go to the end… and found ourselves in the middle of nowhere. We could see a huge statue on the top of a hill a ways away (apparently the largest statue of Kobo Daishi in Japan), but we decided to head back instead of trying to get up there.
There were lots of other temples in the complex. Some had large collections of paper cranes! It’s said that if you fold 1,000 of them, your wish will come true.
Also on the grounds was this cool statue disappearing into the trees.
Last but not least, we found the golden thing we saw through the trees! It was the top of a Thai temple. Not completely sure why it was there, but it was haha.
Here’s the stamp!
Date acquired: April 30th, 2019