Salvation at the chopstick temple within the mountainscape of Shikoku
The “hashi” of Shikoku Island’s Hashikuraji Temple’s name is curiously derived from the Japanese word for chopsticks.
Legend has it that Hashikuraji in Tokushima was founded in 828, after the Buddhist guardian deity of seafaring, Konpira Daigongen, revealed himself before the Buddhist monk Kukai. Konpira promised Kukai to save anyone who used chopsticks, a ubiquitous utensil in Japan, meaning salvation for all.
Hashikuraji Temple, founded on this notion of saving and granting happiness to all, holds two major ceremonies to celebrate this connection with Konpira. On the 12th day of April and November, it holds the Mahaparinirvana Tendai is held, a service involving the reading of 600 Mahaparinirvana Paramita sutras. On these days, it is believed the prayers of everyone are heard.
Hashikuraji is a National Tangible Cultural Property and mountaintop temple that can be accessed via the Hashikurasan ropeway. It is also one of few religious sites at which Shinto and Buddhist traditions sit side by side.
How to get there
1 hour and 40 minutes by bus and train from Takamatsu Airport to JR Hashikura Station, then 10 minutes by ropeway from JR Hashikura Station.