Japan Temples & Shrines: Jorakuji 常楽寺
Jorakuji Temple, which means "Everlasting Peace Temple", is number 14 on the 88 Temple Shikoku Pilgrimage. Only a little over 2 kilometers from the previous temple, Dainichiji and 73 kilometers from the start of the pilgrimage, it is one of five pilgrimage temples clustered close together near Tokushima city that can be visited easily in a half day for those wishing to experience a taste of the pilgrimage.
When Kobo Daishi was 42 he spent time here and had a vision of Miroku Bosatsu, the Japanese name for Maitreya , the Future Buddha who will appear in the far future. He carved a statue of Miroku and founded the temple. This is the only temple on the pilgrimage that has Miroku as the honzon (main image).
The most noticeable and unusual thing about the temple is the ground it is built upon - there is not a flat place to be found. It is built upon an uneven surface of partly jagged rock that must be climbed over to reach the halls.
In front of the main hall is a huge Yew tree, 8 meters high, and it is reputed that drinking a tea made from its leaves and praying to the honzen will cure diabetes.
The temple is also very popular for people who are impaired. According to a legend a wife carried her impaired husband around the pilgrimage circuit a total of five times.
As they started the sixth circuit they vowed that if the husband was not healed on this time around they would commit suicide together. When they reached Jorakuji the husband was miraculously healed and they completed the pilgrimage with both of them walking.
Jorakuji Temple Access
606 Kokufu-cho Enmei
Tel: 0886 42 0471
Jorakuji is a 5 minute walk from the Jorakuji-mae bus stop on buses from Tokushima Station heading to Yorii-naka.