Japan Temples & Shrines: Horinji Temple, Awa City 法輪寺
The ninth temple on the 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage is Horin-ji, just two and a half kilometers from temple number 8, Kumadani-ji, and twenty three and a half kilometers from the start of the pilgrimage at Ryozenji.
Horin-ji is located out in the open plain towards the river, and is easily noticeable as a walled compound set among rice paddies.
Originally the temple was located in a valley about four kilometers north of where it is now, but it was burned down by the warlord Chosokabe in the 16th century and was rebuilt in its current location in the mid-17th century in the Edo Period.
The honzon (main image) carved by Kobo Daishi is a Buddha in the reclining position, not very common in Japan, and the only one as a honzon in the whole Shikoku pilgrimage.
It is open to view by the public just once every 5 years. The current buildings date from the late 19th century, following a fire in mid-century.
Every time I have visited the temple there has been an old gentleman doing paintings and drawings in the shade of the gate house.
His original works and prints are for sale at very reasonable prices. There are no lodgings at the temple, but there is a small business hotel nearby.
Horinji Temple Access
Tel: 0886 95 2080
Horinji is 20 minutes' walk from the Nijonaka bus stop on the bus route between Tokushima Station and Kamojima Station.