This past Sunday I visited a place I have never been to before throughout my almost 15 years of living here in Ogaki. My in-laws took my family and I to Myojorinji Temple in Akasaka. It was amazing, beautiful, and I was completely surprised that not only have I never been to such a fascinating place during all of my years here, but it made me start thinking about just how many more wonderful places are nearby that I still don’t know about.
While I was there, I learned that the temple is dedicated to not only those born in the year of the cow and the tiger, (hopefully you can see the tiger which is carved into the side of a limestone wall at the top of the mountain that I have attached to this blog post) but that it is also a very popular place for pregnant woman to visit to pray for healthy child birth because of the patron deity that is enshrined there. I was also very happy to learn that that temple is known locally as Kokuzo-san by local residents.
Behind the main hall of the temple, I also visited Iwasu Park. I was absolutely blown away by the natural beauty there and wished I had more time that day to fully take in, appreciate, and photograph more of the naturally carved and almost otherworldly shaped lime stones that have been carved by weathering throughout the ages. I am looking forward to finding the time to go there again in the near future to explore the grounds even further.
After visiting the temple I was lucky enough to be able to do a bit of research about the temple and learned that it was built in 684 by a monk named Ozune who is said to have personally carved the Kokuzo Bodhisattva at the temple, which is said to be one of the three great Bodhisattvas in Japan. I hope to do even more research about it and learn even more not only about this fascinating temple, but to keep learning even more about this entire wonderful area I am proud to call home.