Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hanta-ji (Temple #50)

The next temple was #50 (Hanta-ji), backed by a wooded hillside still displaying autumn colors in mid-December. Its name means "Temple of Great Prosperity" but it's often referred to as the "farm temple."

I thought Hanta-ji was a lovely temple. Here the bell tower (left) and a newly restored hall in the background.

A family of pilgrims was at the temple during my visit and I enjoyed watching them make their rounds and chanting sutras before the various halls before heading off to the next temple.

My temple "stamp" for Hanta-ji entered in my temple book which is called a nōkyōchō (納経帳). The calligraphy on the "stamp" is handwritten at the temple office. You pay about 300 yen to have someone enter the stamp in your nōkyōchō. You can purchase a nōkyōchō at just about any temple for about 2,000 to 3,000 yen depending on how elaborate you want your book to be. I paid 2,000 yen for my nōkyōchō which was made specifically for the Shikoku pilgrimage...there is a page for each of the 88 temples on the pilgrimage route. The stamps in your nōkyōchō serve as evidence that you have visited the it's kind of like a passport stamp.

A small pond and autumn colors graced the landscape just outside the Hanta-ji temple precinct.

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