Mitakidera Temple 三瀧寺
Ascent to Mitakidera temple.
Mitakidera temple under the blazing maples.
Water in Threes
On a mountainside, three waterfalls flow into the forest; a deity would have been sheltered there. It does not take more than that for a temple to appear: the Mitakidera.
Who says Buddhism, Buddha said. Sitting posture, legs crossed, long ears and cranial protuberance, his figure seems familiar. But they are not alone. In their task to bring enlightenment to all, he is helped by bodhisattvas, his envoys on earth. One of them is Kannon, embodied in the falls whose purifying water floods the slopes of Mount Mitaki (literally "Mount of three cascades").
The monk Kukai, founder of the Shingon sect based in Mount Koya , decided to found a temple in 809, declaring that the site was sacred and that the spirit of the bodhisattva had shown itself. This temple is listed as the thirteenth of the thirty-three pilgrimage places of worship dedicated to Kannon of the Chugoku Region and one of the most important of the prefecture.
To get there, a true expedition awaits the faithful and the curious. This climb up to the main enclosure is a wonder in a mystical atmosphere where it is difficult to distinguish the hand of nature from man. Statues covered in vines seem to take root in the sacred land while plates engraved with poems and divine effigies line the surface of the rocks.
Architecture and nature merge into a timeless composition that leads to a cascading chapel. Autumn is undoubtedly the best time to walk the stone paths Mitakidera, with scarlet shades of maple tree foliage that has an ephemeral magic.