Pilgrimage of Seven Gods of Good Fortune in Hyogo-no-tsu (2)

Nofukuji Temple (deifying Bishamonten/Vaisravana)
Nofukuji Temple is a temple established in 805, affiliated with the Tendai sect of Buddhism. In 1891, a great image of Buddha was established through the contribution of a wealthy merchant, Nanjyo Sobei. The first great image of Buddha was dismantled for scrapmetal during World War 2, and the present great image was rebuilt in 1991. The weight of the great image is about 60 tons, and the height is about 11 meters (18 meters from the pedestal).
The temple deifies Bishamonten/Vaisravana. Bishamonten is a guardian god called Goho zenjin/Dharmapala, who protect Buddhism from evils. I got go-shuin (red seal) in this temple.

Yanagihara Tenjinsha Shrine (deifying Hotei/Budai)
We walked for about 3 minutes from Nofukuji Temple along a broad street and reached Yanagihara Tenjinsha Shrine. The cozy shrine deifies Sugawaga Michinaze, called the patron of scholarship.
The shrine also deifies Hotei/Budai, who has a round belly and kind smile, and carries a large sack. He brings us family happiness and family prosperity.

  • He looked somehowe droll.

  • Stone Images of Seven Gods

Yanagihara Hiruko Shrine (deifying Ebisu)
The tree shrines and temple of Tenjinnsha Shrine, Hiruko Shrine, and Fukukaiji Temple to which we went after this are in much more urbanized town compared to the former 4 shrines and temples. The shrine deifies Ebisu. Workmen were busily working in the precincts at the day we visited in order to prepare for the Ebisu Festival starting from January 10th.
Ebisu has a fishing rod in his right hand and sea bream in his left hand, and brings us thriving business.

Fukukaiji Temple (deifying Daikokuten/Mahakala)
Fukukaiji Temple stands next to Hiruko Shrine being across one narrow road. This is a Zen sect temple.
The temple defies Daikokuten, who has a mallet bringing fortune and often stands on straw rice bags. He brings us a huge harvest and prosperity for our descendants.

Now, we finished the pilgrimage of the seven gods in Hyogo-no-tsu. The nearest station to Fukukaiji Temple is Hyogo station on JR line, and we could reach there in about 5 minutes on foot. The time was only a little after two o’clock. In Hyogo station, I felt a certain nostalgia from my childhood.

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