In close proximity to Dogo Onsen you will find Ishiteji Temple, a temple of the famed Shikoku Pilgrimage and said to be built in honor of Kukai or Kobo Daishi, a celebrated Buddhist monk. Visit this temple to learn about Japanese history and in the process see many unusual artifacts.
Reach Ishiteji Temple via the Dogo Onsen tram stop. The temple is a 15-20 minute walk away, or a short bus journey. Dogo Onsen is a tram line terminus. From JR Matsuyama Station, take tram line 5. From Matsuyama-shi Station, take tram line 3.
Ishiteji Temple features many unusual elements. At either side of the Niomon Gate, you can see two giant straw sandals. Legend has it that if you are suffering from leg ailments and you touch these, you will be cured.
Dozens of statues are housed in the temple, an oddly curated collection ranging from skeletal Buddha’s to baroque dragons. Discover the second hidden temple that is accessed via a cave which contains a statue for each of the temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage and represents the many forms of Buddha.
In the central courtyard, you can see a stunning three-story pagoda and a bell tower. Bathe in fragrant incense that fills the large bronze urn. On the hill above Ishiteji Temple is a large statue of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Japanese Buddhism, presiding over the temple.