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Kunisaki Peninsula

Kunisaki PeninsulaMap of Kunisaki Peninsula Kunisaki Peninsula is a roughly round peninsula positioned at the northeast part of Oita Prefecture.
The diameter is about 35 to 40 kilometers.

Whole area of the peninsula is hilly, and several peaks of the inactive volcanoes are at the center of the peninsula.
The highest peak is Mount Futago, and the height is 721 meters.

Kitsuki city is at the south part of the peninsula. And some small villages are dotted along the coastline.
Oita Airport is on the southeastern coast.

Since ancient times, this area had been a training place for mountain worship.
In the early 8th century, it is said that priest Ninmon, who was a mystery man, founded 28 temples in this peninsula and created 69 thousand Buddha statues in his life.

These temples were set up on the six districts along the valleys radiating out from Mount Futago. ("Six districts" are called "Rokugou" in Japanese.)
And 28 temples were classified into 3 groups.
Each group was given a meanings. The three meanings are "to learn", "to train", and "to mission".
A set of the three meanings makes a priest. So a group of the temples constructed of such set was called "Manzan".
Therefore, Kunisaki Peninsula has been called "Rokugou-Manzan".
In the 12th century, other 37 temples were added, and Rokugou-manzan had 65 temples.

Rokugou-Manzan was originally Tendai school from Chinese Buddhism, but Shinto religion of Usa Shirine had been mixed.
The object to worship became both Buddha and Hachiman gods.

Now remaining 33 temples and Usa Shrine form a pilgrimage route.

In this area, no railroad runs. (JR Nippo Line runs through the base of this peninsula.)
Main route bus runs along the coastline, but it runs only 4 to 6 times a day in all sections.
So to tour around this peninsula efficiently, you should use a rental car.

And, the regular sightseeing bus is convenient.
It visits some popular spots in this peninsula and Usa Shrine from Oita, Beppu and Usa stations.

Fukiji temple /1/

Fukiji It is a temple of Tendai school located in the southwestern valley of the peninsula. It is located about 12 km east of JR Usa station.
It is said that it was founded in 718 by Ninmon, and this temple is one of the added 37 temples.
The main temple "Oodou" was built in the 12th century, and is designated as a national treasure.

Maki-Oodou temple /2/

Maki-Oodou It is a temple located about 5 km south of Fukiji.
It is said that this temple was one of the buildings in Denjoji temple founded around 720 by Ninmon.
Denjoji was a great temple, but it had been destroyed by fire in the 14th century.
In this temple, there are old nine Buddha statues designated as important cultural properties.

Kumano Magaibutsu /3/

Kumano Magaibitsu It is located about 3 km south of Maki-Oodou.
There is Taizouji temple founded in 718, and after we climb up the steep stone steps, we reach there.
There are two large stone Buddha statues created by carving into a rock face. One is 8 meters high and the other is 6.7 meters high.
It is said that they were created around the 12th century.

Zaizen Family Cemetery /4/

Zaizen Family Cemetery Zaizen was a local ruling family in this area in the middle ages, and it is located about 7 km east-northeast of Fukiji.
It is on a hill near the peak of Mount Furago, and the cemetery is filled with 111 tombs, stone lanterns, and pagodas.
Kunisaki Pagoda about 3 meters high is designated as an important cultural property.

Futagoji temple /5/

Futagoji It is a Buddhist temple of Tendai Buddhism, and is located just south of the peak of Mount Futago.
It is said that it was founded in 718 by Ninmon, and it became the central temple of Rokugou-Manzan.
There are many buildings in the precincts.
At the entrance, a pair of Niou (the guardians of the temple) statues stand.

Iwatoji temple /6/

Iwatoji It is a Buddhist temple located about 5 km north-northeast of Mount Futago.
This temple was also founded in 718 by Ninmon, and this temple is one of the added 37 temples.
There are a pair of Niou statues at the entrance. One of them has an inscription of "1478" (the created year), and it is the oldest Niou statue with inscription. And Kunisaki Pagoda 3.3 meters high has an inscription of "1283", and it is said that this is the oldest Kunisaki Pagoda.

Monjusenji temple /7/

Monjusenji It is a Buddhist temple located about 3 km south of Iwatoji. It is on the northeastern mountainside of Mount Monju (617 meters high).
It is said that this temple was founded in 648.
There is a Niou statue at the entrance of the temple, and about 300 stone steps lead to the precincts.
Houkyouintou Pagoda about 9 meters high was built in 1840.

Ruin of Sentouji temple /8/

Kyu Sentouji ato It is the ruin of the original Sentouji temple, and is located about 2 km west-northwest of Iwatoji.
It is said that this temple was the first one built in 718 by Ninmon and Ninmon died here. The current Sentoji was moved to the foot of the hill in the early 20th century.
The ruin of the original temple spread around the hills.
Old temples are dotted, and there is a cemetery with about a thousand tombs and pagodas.

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

By railroad

By JR limited express "Sonic", to Usa, about 40-50 minutes from Kokura, about 1 hours and 40-55 minutes from Hakata, about 30 minutes from Beppu.

Fukuji Maki-Oodou
Statues in Maki-Oodou Kumano Magaibutsu
Two Kumano Magaibutsu
Zaizen Family Cemetery Entrance of Futagoji
Futagoji Niou at the entrance of Iwatoji
Koudou hall in iwatoji Niou at the entrance of Monjusenji
Main temple of Monjusenji Houkyouintou Pagoda in Monjusenji
In the ruin of Sentouji Cemetery in former Sentouji

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