Denomination: Shingon (高野山真言宗)
Main Image: Seikanzeon Bosatsu (聖観世音菩薩)
Location: Minami Izu-cho (南伊豆町)
The Kannon image which is enshrined in this Shingon denomination temple was brought in accidentally by the ropes of a local fisherman’s ship in the year 793, and was originally housed in a small hermitage above the present location of the main temple. The main image is over 1200 years old and has been recognized as an important prefectural cultural treasure. Sometime between 1460 and 1465, the main building was restored relocated to its current location.
Legend has it that a certain type of millet, a grain producing many seeds that are largely used for flour, was received by the people as a gift from the Kannon, and would lead to wealth and an abundant harvest in the place it was planted.
In recent years, the millet spoken of in the legend has been discovered once again, and is now actively being germinated at an official experimental station. The millet has also been featured in a television programme. Also housed in the main temple are scrolls containing the Great Wisdom Sutras which are said to be several hundred years old.
At the time of visiting, it was almost impossible to view the main image from the
common area. Behind the main golden altar prominent in all Shingon temples is a
pane of glass which separates the image from visitors. On the other side of the
glass is another small room with large heavy folding doors which houses the main image as well as the ancient scrolls.