Founded in 1811, Tennei-ji is a temple of the Soto school of Zen Buddhism, built atop a hill that overlooks the nearby town.
It is said that Ii Naonaka, lord of the Hikone clan, had a female servant named Wakatake executed for falling pregnant with an illegitimate child while working in a male-barred place. However, upon later learning that he was the father, he built Tennei-ji to memorialize Wakatake and his son.
During autumn, bush clovers bloom, granting it the alternate name “Bush Clover Temple.”
Rakan-do is home to an almost overwhelming number of enshrined Buddha statues, including statues of seated Buddhas, the ten great disciples, and the sixteen arhats, as well as 500 rakan statues.
It is said that, if you look through the 500 rakan statues, you can see the face of someone you wish to see who has passed away, such as a parent, child, or beloved person.
It is said about the Golden Hoteison at Tennei-ji that, “if you touch his bellybutton you can gather a secret stash, if you touch his bag your sickness will be cured, and if you touch his fan good luck will come.” Because of this saying, the color of the Golden Hoteison’s stomach has worn away and turned black.
Basic information on Tennei-ji (Gohyakurakan)
- 232 Satone-cho, Hikone City, Shiga
- About 15 minutes on foot from JR Hikone Station
- 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
- Open every day
- Admission fee
- 400 yen