Unganzenji temple [雲巌禅寺]
Reigando in Unganzenji
Unganzenji is a small Buddhist temple of Soto Zen sect located about 14 km west of Kumamoto station.
There is Mount Kinbo ("Kinbôzan" in Japanese, 665 m) which is an inactive volcano, and the temple is on the west side of the mountain.
It is said that it was established by a Chinese priest in 1351.
There is a cave at the back hill of the temple.
It is called Reigando (霊巌洞).
A statue of Kannon had been enshrined in the cave before the foundation of the temple.
So this temple is also Iwato Kannon (岩戸観音) meaning "rock door".
Iwato Kannon in Reigando
Statue of Miyamoto Musashi in Unganzenji
Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645) was a legendary swordsman in Japan.
He devised the swordsmanship style of using two swords, and it is said that he won all matches of swordsmanship throughout his life.
In his later years, he wrote "Gorin no sho" in Reigando cave.
It is a book of the secrets of his swordsmanship, and has been introduced to overseas countries as "The Book of Five Rings".
Gohyaku-rakan along the path to Reigando
Along the path between the temple and Reigando, there is Gohyaku-rakan (五百羅漢).
There are a lot of stone statues of Buddha on the rocky slope of the mountain.
These were put by a merchant in Kumamoto.
By his order, they were created by many stonemasons for 24 years from 1779.
How to get here
There is Sakuramachi Bus Terminal near Kumamoto Castle.
From the bus terminal, by route bus for Kawachi-onsen center, 29 minutes to Iwato-kannon iriguchi stop.