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Zentsuji temple

Zentsuji temple Zentsuji is a temple of Shingon Buddhism, and is in Zentsuji city located about west-southwest of Takamatsu city.
It is located about 1.5 km west of JR Zentsuji station.

Kuukai (774-835) was one of the most excellent Buddhist priests in the ancient times.
He was born around the place where current Zentsuji temple is.
He becam a priest, and began the ascetic training in the mountains at the age of 19.
And he studied in Tang (current China) from 804 to 806. After that, he established Shingon Buddhism.

Soon after returning home, he built Zentsuji temple near his birthplace.
The temple was modeled after the temple in which his master priest in China was lived.
It was began to build from 807, and was completed in 813.

This temple has Touin (Eastern site) and Saiin (Western site).

Touin is the temple which Kuukai himself constructed originally.
The original buildings had been destroyed by fire by civil war in 1558. Most of the buildings were rebuilt after that.
In this site, there are Kondo, Shakado, Five-story pagoda, and some other buildings.

Saiin is located about 100 meters west of Touin, and both sites are connected with an approach.
In this site, there was the house where Kuukai was born.
There are Mieido in the center of the site. There was the room of Kuukai's mother on the temple, and it is right the holy place.
Some other buildings are in this site.

Under sacred Mieido, an underground passage without light is set up. Of course, it is entirely dark, and the length is about 100 meters.
We can pass through the passage for a fee, and it is called "Kaidan meguri" (Kaidan tour).
Naturally, it is not an amusement attraction.

The images of Buddha are painted on both side of the walls, and the floor is covered with the sands from many Buddhist temples in Shikoku Island.
It is important to walk in the dark with reflect on yourself and purifying your spirit of evil thought.
It is said that the man who has done ill is never able to go out of the dark tunnel.

Zentsuji official website

How to get to here

By railroad

  1. By JR Dosan Line, from Takamatsu to Zentsuji, about 30 minute by limited express "Shimanto", about 45 minutes by rapid train, about 55-75 minutes by local train.
    From Okayama to Zentsuji, about 55 minutes by limited express "Nanpu".
  2. About 3 minutes by taxi, about 20 minutes on foot, from the station.



One of the gates of Zentsuji Five-story pagoda
©Kagawa Prefecture / © JNTO
Kondo Mieido

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