Denomination: Shingon (高野山真言宗)
Main Image: Dainichi Nyorai (大日如来)
Location: Minami Izu-cho (南伊豆町)
Due to repeated disasters at this temple, it’s history and origin are largely unknown. Two images, Fudo Myo-o and Yakushi Nyorai, were enshrined together as the main images of the temple. The temple was reconstructed sometime between 1830 and 1844.
In 1855, the famous warship of the Tokugawa navy, the Shohei Maru (the second modern Japanese warship) was on its way to Nagasaki from Edo (Tokyo) when it ran into stormy weather and had to land in Mera Port on September 8th. Here, 11 members of the crew disembarked and prayed at Zenpukuji for safe waters on their way to their destination.
Along with the Izu 88 Temple Pilgrimage, Zenpukuji serves as the 5th stop on the Izu seven lucky gods pilgrimage, as well as the 31st stop on the Izu 33 Kannon Pilgrimage.
Inside the main hall and to the right of the main image encased under a glass window
are bags of soil, each marked with the numbers one to eighty-eight. In each bag is dirt collected from all of the eighty-eight temples on the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage. Those who are not able to visit Shikoku to embark on the sacred pilgrimage due to health or other reasons are encouraged to step on the glass and move in numerical order, from temple to temple, thus completing the pilgrimage.