A temple that stands on the mountainside of the tranquil Mt. Raizan
Sennyo-ji Temple, which stands on the side of the 955.45m Mt. Raizan, was founded by the Indian monk Seiga Shonin in the year 148. It was said by the people of those ancient times that because of the frequent instances of the tremendous sound of thunder, the lightning racing across the skies and the heavy rains witnessed, the God of Thunder has been enshrined from the feelings of the awesome power of nature. Halls commemorating the Senju Kannon and the founder of the temple along with the statues of the 500 disciples beside the latter hall can all be visited, and on the grounds, the wooden seated statue of Seiga Shonin is enshrined. Access to the temple is only by car and public bus.
The incredible Senju Kannon and the 500 disciples of Buddha
In Shinji Garden, which is the courtyard by the pond shaped as the kanji character for kokoro or heart, there are 600-year-old sandalwood trees and other beautiful flora which can be seen throughout the four seasons, and the views from various places in the temple buildings are extremely wonderful. You will reach the Kannon Hall by going up the spiral staircase. Presumed to have been built about 700 years ago, the Senju Kannon has 11 faces on its head and 1000 arms with eyes located on the palm of every hand. Carved entirely from a 4m63cm Japanese white birch, it has been nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property. If you go further up, the 500 disciples of Buddha (rakan) are lined up tightly on the slope, each with a different expression and appearance. Also known as a famous place for the fall colors, there are over 200 large maple trees planted inside the garden that was built in the Muromachi Era. The feudal lord of Fukuoka, Tsugutaka Kuroda, had these lovely 400-year-old trees planted 260 years ago, and they have been prefecturally designated as Natural Monuments of Fukuoka.