Japan Temples & Shrines: Jurakuji Temple, Tokushima 十楽寺
The 7th temple on the 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage, Jurakuji Temple in Tokushima Prefecture, is 17 kilometers from the start of the pilgrimage at Ryozenji, and a mere kilometer from temple number 6, Anrakuji. Like Anrakuji, Jurakuji is fronted by a Chinese style gate and has a shukubo, temple accommodations for pilgrims.
Believed to be founded by Kobo Daishi who gave the temple its name, which refers to the 10 pleasures or joys to be had in paradise.
The honzon, the main statue of the temple, is also attributed to Kobo Daishi and is of Amida Nyorai. Like many honzon it is a "secret Buddha" and is rarely shown in public.
In earlier times the temple was a much larger complex of buildings but as is seemingly common in this area it was burned down and blamed on the warlord Chosokabe.
There are many statues throughout the grounds, notably a statue of Jizo Bosatsu that people pray to for relief from eye problems.
After passing through the gate you will see a large group of Jizo statues, all wearing red bibs and most holding children's windmills. These are Mizuko Jizo, memorializing dead babies, mostly the result of abortions. Ubiquitous throughout Japan they are a post-war tradition.
The lodgings include Wifi, washing machines, vending machines and standard hotel facilities such as A/C, TV, fridge etc.
A single room with no meals is 6,500 yen, with two meals 8,500 yen, and a little cheaper per person, if shared.
Jurakuji Temple Access
58 Donari-cho-takao, Awa city
Tel: 0886 95 2150
Jurakuji is a 20 minute walk from the Higashihara bus stop for buses bound for Kajiyahara from Tokushima Station or Itano Station, the same bus stop as for Anrakuji.