直指庵Jikishian Temple is a Joudo Buddhist (originally Obaku Buddhist) temple nestled among bamboo trees in the 嵯峨Saga area, close to 大覚寺Daikaku-ji Temple. It was founded by Zen master, 独照性円Shoen Dokusho, in 1646 but gradually fell to ruin until 局の村岡Tsubone no Muraoka (birthname: 津崎矩子Noriko Tsuzaki), a famous female imperial loyalist, restored it at the end of the 江戸時代Edo Period when she returned to Kyoto from Edo (current Tokyo) after her second arrest. Unfortunately, the current buildings aren’t the original which were burned in 1880 due to fires (they were rebuilt several years later).
Jikishian Temple is known for the many lone visitors who come to write their sincere feelings, no matter how distraught, in notebooks called “思い出草omoidegusa“, meaning “memento”…currently there are over 5000 of these notebooks. Like part of the temple’s name indicates, it’s a quiet retreat where one can confront his problems and be comforted, made all the more easier in a scenic environment where one can truly feel the season during which he visits.
Mr. Man took me to Jikishian, part of the 数珠巡礼Juzu Junreii (Rosary Pilgrimage), in mid-April 2009; since the temple has no parking, we parked somewhere within walking distance and walked up to it.
pretty little stream with blooming cherry blossom trees along the way
the route up to the front gate (the stone is engraved with the temple’s name)
the 山門sanmon (main temple gate)
the grounds close to the entrance
the 本堂hondo, or main temple, ahead
looking back while going up to the hondo
愛逢い地蔵Aiaijizo, Jizos for matchmaking and completion of relationships
“珍しい竹の庭Garden of Rare Bamboo” next to the hondo
on the path around the grounds
looking back at the hondo
開山堂kaisando (founder’s hall)
a shrine with the 水子地蔵Mizuko-jizo, guardian of miscarried and aborted fetuses
going up to the 想い出草観音Omoidegusa Kannon
cherry blossoms and the 修練道場juren-dojo (training hall)
more lovely blooms
It was definitely a temple to my liking: small, scenic and quiet. I’d love to go again sometime, maybe during the fall when everyone seems to choose to go.