六道珍皇寺Rokudouchinnou-ji, also called 六道さんRokudo-san, is a sub-temple of 建仁寺Kennin-ji where people send off the deceased. 六道の辻Rokudou no Tsuji (the intersection of this world and the next ones) is said to be at the foot of the gate. 六道Rokudo (Six Roads) is for the six Buddhist realms to one of which one may go: 1) 地獄Jigoku (Hell), 2) 餓鬼Gaki (hungry spirits), 3) 畜生Chikushou (beasts), 4) 修羅Shura (fighting), 5) 人間Ningen (humans) and 6) 天上Tenjou (Heaven).
I went while in the middle of the 都七福神めぐりMiyako Shichifukujin Meguri (Miyako Seven Lucky Gods Tour) in mid-January 2009…it was pretty quiet and Mr. Man and I as well as a couple of other visitors were the only ones there.
a long way in…to the right is the 薬師堂Yakushidou which houses the wooden statue of 薬師如来Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of Healing. There is also the 閻魔堂Enmadou which houses a statue of Enma, the ruler of the Underworld in Buddhist mythology, that Takamura Ono who served the Emperor during the day but served Enma at night erected.
The hondou behind which is the well by which Takamura Ono is said to have gone to the other world was closed when I went in mid- January 2009.
the 迎鐘Mukae-Gane (Welcoming Bell) which is pulled to welcome back the spirits of ancestors during 六道参りRokudou Mairi (Visit of Rokudou) from August 7-10 every year
a closer look at this unique bell