Kokawa-dera Temple was founded by a local hunter named Otomo no Kujiko in 770. Legend holds that Kujiko found a land of shining beauty, on which he had a religious experience. He built himself a hermitage on that land, which led to the temple’s founding. The temple appears in the Shozan-engi, a record of Shugendo mountains compiled in the early Kamakura Period (late 12th century), and from this we see that the temple has long been a Shugendo training site. Even today, numerous Shugendo practitioners from Shogo-in Temple (in Kyoto) visit Kokawa-dera Temple every spring for their ascetic training. The temple has attracted the enthusiastic belief of nobles since the Heian Period (794 to 1185). It has flourished as a sacred site of the Kannon bodhisattva faith, and it is known as the third of the 33 temples of the Saikoku Kannon Pilgrimage.
Kokawa-dera Temple main hall 0736-73-4830
Kokawa, Kinokawa-shi, Wakayama Prefecture
15 min. walk from Kokawa Station on JR Wakayama Line; or 5 min. drive from Kinokawa-higashi IC on Keinawa Expressway
Admission to the temple grounds is free of charge (although visitors must pay 400 yen to enter the main hall)
8:00 to 17:00
100 spaces (fee applies)