About Takkoku no Iwaya Bishamon Hall
It is said to be the largest temple in Japan, and is located in a stone cave in Hiraizumi-cho, Iwate Prefecture, Japan.
In 801 A.D., General Sakanoue no Tamuramaro built the Tatsugaya Iwaya Vishamundang after the Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto to pay homage to the 108 bodies of Vishamunden (the Buddhist god of 0 days) as a token of gratitude for the blessing of the Emishi during their pacification. In 802, the temple was opened as an annex to Bettoji Temple. Later, the temple suffered several fires, especially in 1946, which destroyed several halls and numerous Vishwamunthas. The present-day Vishwamunthang was rebuilt in 1961, and only the 27-body Vishwamunthang remains.
The large cliff to the left of the Vishwamunthang in Dagu Cave is carved with the 16.5-meter-tall Amitabha Rudra, which is still magnificent and a very precious cliff statue of Buddha, although only the head and shoulder parts are left at present.
How to get there
10 minutes by cab from Hiraizumi Station
The Bishamondō Hall of the Tatsuya Cave, lined with vermilion pillars that are said to be modeled after the Kiyomizu stage in Kyoto, has a solemn appearance. The Iwamen Daibutsu (Great Buddha), which was carved with a bow and arrow from horseback just a short walk from the Bishamondō Hall, seems to be deteriorating as most of it was lost in the earthquake. And on the taiko bridge leading to Benten-do, which is located in the pond in the front yard of Bishamondō Hall, there is a warning sign that says, “Good friends, men and women, please visit the shrine separately. It is said that Benten-sama gets jealous, so close couples should be careful.
There are also Fudo Hall, Kondo Hall, and other temples and shrines with much more to see than expected. I was surprised to find that the gofuda I casually purchased is said to be the strongest on the Internet. I immediately put it on my front door.