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Ishiteji, literally meaning "stone hand temple" due to a local legend, is number 51 of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Ishiteji is also considered Matsuyama's most famous temple and is close to the iconic Dogo Onsen. According to the local legend, Ishiteji Temple was named after an aristocrat who held a stone tightly in his hands on his death bed as he awaited for the priest Kobo Daishi to bless him. The aristocrat passed away with the stone held tightly in his hand, and was later reborn as a baby with the stone still in it's hand.
As a part of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage, it's not uncommon to see pilgrims dressed in white visiting the temple. The temple grounds are home to several halls, a three-story pagoda designated as an important cultural properties, the Niomon Gate designated as a national treasure, Buddhist statues, and religious artworks, The temple also has a treasure house displaying some of the most important temple artifacts. A unique point to Ishiteji is the inner temple connected via underground cave. The dimly lit cave is about 200 meters long and houses many Buddhist statues and artworks. When reaching the inner temple, travelers will be greeted by a large, golden dome-shaped hall unlike the temple grounds above.
Enjoy the beauty of Ishiteji Temple while exploring the highlights and charms of Shikoku with Japan Deluxe Tours. Add Ishiteji and more of the 88 Temples from the Shikoku Pilgrimage with our pre and post stay options during our fully-guided Southern Japan Tours or during a tailor-made custom vacation package!
Matsuyama Castle and Dogo Onsen
Center of Ehime; Home to Matsuyama Castle
Japan's oldest and most famous hot spring
One of Japan's twelve original castles; last reconstructed in 1820 when burnt down by lightening
31st of 88 temples of the Shikoku pilgrimage
84th of 88 temples of Shikoku PIlgrimage
Good luck charms meant to ward off bad spirits