Senganji: Temple on the Mountain

Senganji is the name of an uninhabited temple built on the mountainside opposite the town of Kawamoto. I see it every day, and every day I feel the urge to climb the stone steps for a visit.

I’ve visited Senganji several times, but did not venture inside until this past week. Although many of the locals tell me it is a “scary” place, I feel at ease when I visit Senganji. It is such a powerful presence – watching over Kawamoto from its perch on the mountainside. Accessible only by foot, I feel like I have it all to myself, as few people in Kawamoto would be willing (or able) to make the trek.

I want to use Senganji as my bridge to understanding Japanese religion / culture / architecture…etc. The temple and the attached house are completely intact – including cigarette butts, slippers, and calendars. If I can identify all of the items inside, as well as learn to recognize many of the symbols found throughout the site I think I will understand Japan to a far greater extent than I do now.

I’m hoping to spend a night out there sometime soon…

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