Denomination: Soto (曹洞宗)
Main Image: Seikanzeon Bosatsu (聖観世音菩薩)
Location: Yugashima, Izu City (伊豆市湯ヶ島)
I briefly told her about the purpose of my visit to which she was very receptive. She explained to me that there were many foreigners visiting lately. Just the other day an American man came by and told her how fascinated he was with the various musical instruments inside the temple. Upon allowing him into the main hall he proceeded to ring every bell and pound every drum he could find, listening closely in awe of the beauty of their sounds.
Another point of interest at Kodoji is printed on a wooden board at the entrance to Kodoji. It describes the visit by Townsend Harris, an American Consul General who built the first US Embassy in Shimoda at Gyokusenji (which is Temple number 40 on the pilgrimage) in the year 1856.
Townsend Harris is regarded as the diplomat who first opened up Japan, to foreign trade and influence in the Edo period, bringing it out of its self-imposed isolation.