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Yotsugi Jizo Festival at Jotoku-ji Temple

Jotoku-ji (上徳寺) temple, otherwise known as “Kyo no Yotsugi-san (京の世継さん)”, is famous as responsive to prayers for conception.

In the course of our “YUMEYAKATA Gojo back street walking tour (五条路地裏さんぽツアー)”, this long established temple with the deep connection with Tokugawa Shogunate (徳川幕府) of the Edo (江戸) period, is listed as the first spot to visit.

The deity of the temple is Jizo Bosatsu (地蔵菩薩, Jizo bodhisattva), widely worshiped in Japan. Over the walls of its hall called Jizo-doh (地蔵堂), there are thousands of Ema (絵馬, votive tablets) and Yodarekake (よだれかけ, drool bib) on which prayers are written, are hanged. That scenery is somewhat extraordinary and it tells us the depth of the people’s faith in the Jizo.

On February 8, the temple holds the Yotsugi Jizo festival (世継地蔵大祭) annually, and the temple becomes very crowded with visitors. According to the temple, visiting there on this day brings benefit of a hundred-million times of prayers. The statue of Jizo itself which is not open to the public is specially disclosed only on this day.

In front of Hondo (本堂, Main hall), Goma (護摩, Holy fire for purification) service is conducted by a troop of Yamabushi (山伏, ascetic monks). A treat of Kasujiru (かす汁, soup made with sake lees) is served to visitors.

I felt grateful to spend a good afternoon in the temple, with warm delicious soup and a blessing of a hundred-million times of prayers.

2 mins. on foot from Kawaramachi Gojo, Kyoto city bus
5 mins. on foot from Kiyomizu Gojo, Keihan line

Akane Kibune
Kyoto Expert Certificate 1st Grade

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