Komyo-ji Temple (Ayabe City) (光明寺 (綾部市))

Komyo-ji Temple, located in Ayabe City, Kyoto, is a temple of the Daigo school of the Shingon sect. Its sango (literally, "mountain name"), which is the title prefixed to the name of a Buddhist temple, is Kiminosan, and its principal image is Senju Kannon Bosatsu (Thousand-Armed Kannon Buddhisattva, or a Buddhist Goddess of Mercy). An ancient temple, and said to have been founded in 599 by Prince Shotoku.

The Nio-mon gate (Deva gate) is designated as a national treasure. The Nio-mon gate is a magnificent sangen-ikkomon gate (a 3x2-bay gate of an eight-legged style) of the irimoya style (a half-hipped roof) with a tochibuki roof (a type of board roofing in which boards are split along the straight grain and laid in such a way as to have a considerable overlap) has long been said to have been built in 680. However, when the gate was taken apart and repaired from 1950 to October 1952, ink writing stating "1248" and munafuda (a historical plaque on a building) were discovered, and it was revealed that the gate had been reconstructed in 1248. Additionally, it was revealed that the gate was repaired three times, in 1516, 1729 and 1859.

The Nio-mon gate was designated as a new national treasure in 1954, after it had been repaired, because only a few Nio-mon gates were built in the early Kamakura period.

599: Founded by Prince Shotoku

673: Enno Ozunu (En no Gyoja), a semi-legendary holy man noted for his practice of mountain asceticism during the second half of the seventh century, used the temple as a training hall for Shugendo, which is Japanese mountain asceticism/shamanism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts.

680: Nio-mon gate was built.

Around 900 in the Heian period: It was restored by Shobo (Rigen Daishi), a founder of Daigo-ji Temple, as a training hall for Shingon Esoteric Buddhism. Later, toward the Muromachi period, the temple became a large complex with 72 temple buildings in Sanjo and Sange.

1248: The Nio-mon gate was rebuilt.

November 1527: The main hall, a three-story pagoda, Hokke-do Hall, Jogyo-do Hall, Haiden (a hall of offering and worship), Gyosha-do Hall, a bell tower and priests' living quarters were burned down amid the ravages of war.

1533: Rebuilt by Ueba-Tanba no kami (the governor of Ueba-Tanba Province)

1572: Burned by Mitsuhide AKECHI

1579: Burned again by Mitsuhide AKECHI

Edo period: It received the patronage of a feudal lord, Fujikake, but the number of temple buildings gradually decreased.

1733: Twenty-three temple buildings in Yamashita were burned down.

1836: The main hall was rebuilt.

Early Meiji period: Four temple buildings that had remained in Sanjo were lost.

1914: The old kuri (priests' living quarters), hojo (an abbot's chamber) and kyakuden (a reception hall) were burned down.

1916: Kuri was rebuilt.

Buddhist temple
Hondo (main hall): Senju Kannon Bosatsu (Thousand-Armed Kannon Bodhisattva, or the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy), stored as a principal image
Nio-mon gate: The Nio (two Deva kings) were enshrined.
Jizo-do Hall
Kuri: Rebuilt in 1916
Temple bell: Recast in the temple precincts on November 11, 1604

Cultural properties
The Nio-mon gate: built early in the Kamakura period (1248), has been designated as a national treasure. Hondo (main hall): a cultural property designated by Kyoto Prefecture, was rebuilt in the late Edo period (1836). Waniguchi (a medal-shape steel drum): a cultural property designated by Kyoto Prefecture, was produced by Kamikamaya of Jakushu (Wakasa) Province in the Muromachi period (1410). Waniguchi (41 cm in diameter and 11.5 cm in thickness) hung in front of the façade of the main hall.

Hokyoin-to pagoda: a cultural property designated by Ayabe City, was built during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan). A temple solicitation book and a subscription list, on paper with monochrome ink, a cultural property designated by Ayabe City, were produced in the Muromachi period. Two roadside prohibition-edict boards of Komyo-ji Temple, a cultural property registered by Kyoto Prefecture, were produced in the Muromachi period.

1-1 Kimino, Mutsuyori-cho, Ayabe City, Kyoto City, Japan

Forty minutes by bus (Kanbayashi route, Aya bus) from Ayabe Station, Sanin Main Line to Ayabe Onsenmae, and a 40-minute walk from the bus stop

Neighboring sites
Mt. Kimino, 582 meters above sea level
Nio-koen Park
Ayabe Onsen
Japanese Cherry Birch in Kamitsubai
Japanese Beech Forest at Mt. Tokin

[Original Japanese]