Byodoji Temple: Byodoji Temple is the twenty second temple on the 88 Temple Shikoku Pilgrimage dedicated to Kobo Daishi.
Japan Temples & Shrines: Byodoji Temple, Tokushima 平等寺
Main gate of Byodoji Temple in TokushimaGrounds of Byodoji Temple in Anan, Tokushima
After a couple of temples high in the mountains, the Shikoku Pilgrimage route heads towards the coast for temple 22, Byodoji.
Inside the main hall at Byodoji Temple before the recent renovations which have now opened it upSome statues at Byodoji Temple
According to legend the temple was founded by Kobo Daishi and he carved the main statue of Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha.
The temple's name means "Temple of Equality" because Yakushi heals all people irrespective of age, gender or status. The statue was a "hidden Buddha", and thus rarely shown to the public, but recently, following renovations to the main hall, the statue is permanently on display.
Byodoji is not a very large temple, but it has a nice main gate housing a pair of Nio guardians. What the temple is most well known for is its healing waters from a well once again created by Kobo Daishi.
Milky in appearance the water is on sale in small bottles and is believed to be particularly effective for leg ailments and eye conditions but also for general good fortune.
Though the official guide book for the pilgrimage doesn't say so, the temple now offers accommodation. There are also several other ryokan and minshuku nearby. The temple is supportive of walking pilgrims and allows tents to be set up in the grounds, with permission, of course. The temple also offers free wifi throughout the grounds.
Byodoji Temple Access
177 Akiyama Aratano-cho Annan-shi, Tokushima 779-1510Tel: 0884 36 3522
Access to the temple is just over 2 km (a 30 minute walk) or short taxi ride from Aratano Station on the JR Mugi Line.