Bishamon-do Temple, Kyoto
Uphill slope to a side entrance of the Bishamon-do Temple in Kyoto, Japan.
This temple is a Monzeki temple of the Tendai sect og Buddhism, where Imperial Family members or regency family members have served as head priests. It is a renowned temple in Yamashina area for its beautiful weeping cherry blossoms in spring and georgous autumn leaves.
According to temple records, the origin of this temple was Izumo Temple, which was estblished in the north of the Imperial Palace in 703. Later, it was named Bishamondo Temple because the high priest Saicho (the Reverend Denkyo Daishi) enshrined his hand-made statue of Bishamonten there.
It was devastated by repeated battles. However, the priest Tenkai of the Tendai sect and his disciple Kokai, who succeeded to Tenkai's wishes, reconstructed the temple at the present site in 1665. Later, the priest Koben (1669~1716), who was a prince of Emperor Gosai, became the chief priest of this temple. Since then, it has been a Monzeki temple.
The principle image, the statue of Bishamonten, is enshrined in the main hall in the center. The Shinden back on the left is the former palace of Emperor Gosai, which the emperor donated to the temple. The picture of a dragon on the ceiling, the directions of the eyes and the face of which differ depending on from which directio you lok at it, and partition paintings such as Kyuro-no zu (Picture of Nine Elders) drawn in reverse perspective, are particularly fampous. Behind the Shinden is located a stroll garden with a lake named the Bansuien Garden.