Founded in 1723, Myotokuzan-Kegonji Temple is better known by its nickname Suzumushi-dera, and is renowned for the natural ambient music created by its resident bell crickets.
Crickets live only about 110 days, but sing only for about half that
The temple's statue of Jizo is unusual in that it wears sandals, so that it may personally deliver your wish to you
The temple is best reached by bus and then on foot.
Take the #28 bus from Kyoto Station to the Matsuo Taisha bus stop. It is a 15-minute walk to the temple from there.
Over thirty years ago, a priest named Shoei Katsura became quite enamored with the sound of crickets, believing that the insects exemplify Buddhist values. He brought some to the temple and eventually trained his insect friends to sing throughout the year.
Male crickets sing for only about twenty days in autumn, in a sound much like running a finger along a comb. To the Japanese, the sound is like a tiny bell, hence the name bell cricket.
During your visit, you'll receive a cup of green tea and a 30-minute sermon by the resident priest, made through a microphone because otherwise his words would be lost to the insects' hearty singing. These are mating calls, by the way.
The "Kofuku Jizo" (Jizo of Happiness) here is famous for granting supplicants one wish. Since he reportedly visits those who come to Suzumushi-dera, be sure to tell him your address.