Murōji Temple in Nara lies on the mountainside of Mount.Murō whose conic figure is likened to a bud of lotus flowers. Different from many other temples of that time, women were admitted to it so this temple is known as 女人高野 （nyonin- Kōya); Mount Kōya for Women. While passing down a various cultural heritage, it also has been showing quiet beauty in harmony with nature in every season.
Especially shakunage (Rhododendron) featuring the precincts at this time of the year has attracted visitors.
You can see the drum bridge leading to the gate on the left.
shibazakura;moss phlox, on the bank on the way to the gate
According to the extant record kept by the temple, a successful ritual praying to Rūjin ( dragon deity, deity of water), who was supposed to live deep in the mountain stream, for Prince Yamabe ( later to become Emperor Kammu) to cure the disease made a monk of Kōfukuji temple build a temple on this site as the imperial court order.
It’s quite understandable people believed and revered some mystic power in the place like this surrounded with a deep mountain and clear stream. They have also done a ritual for rain here.
Five storied pagoda (national treasure), the smallest kind standing in the open air, remains from 9th century, the second oldest to that of Hōryūji Temple.
|Hanazuo (Chinese redbud )|
Its finial form is rare; there’s a pot-like Hobyo instead of Suien and a canopy like an umbrella over it. The right side picture from wikipedia shows the usual style of finial.
The extant record says Rūjin was kept in Hobyo by the monk who was in charge of building the temple.
Passing by the pagoda, you are into the pass leading to 奥の院( Okunoin), 御影堂(Mieido), dedicated to Kūkai and stilted building called 位牌堂(Ihaido).
You have to climb up around 400 stone steps to reach there.
|You have to be more careful in stepping down the stairs.|
|Hondo ( national treasure)|
I was lucky enough to visit here this time; to see the flowers in their prime time and what’s more, I was given an unexpected free gift as the 500th visitor during the event, however I don’t know what event and since when, considering the relatively small number. Anyway I was happy to get a delicacy made of fresh local product.