Translated by Sandy Lau
Muroji Temple In Nara – A Beautiful Temple In Harmony With Nature
Written by Yumiko Delor
Built halfway up Mount Muro near the boundary of Nara and Mie is Muroji Temple. It is a very beautiful temple that has harmonized building with nature over time. Let's take a closer look at this captivating mountain temple.
What Is Muroji Temple?
Muroji Temple was built on Mount Muro near the end of the Nara period (710 – 794). Mount Muro was originally worshiped as the sacred land of the water god and was also land that was known well by the Imperial family as a potent place to recover from illnesses.
Due to Muroji Temple being situated deep in the mountains, it is known as a training place for the Shingon sect, a school of Buddhism, and it has also been said that Kukai (*1) once lived here.
Mount Koya, the sohonzan (*2) or head temple of the Shingon sect, firmly forbade the entry of women. In contrast, Muroji Temple has historically allowed women to enter. As a result, the temple is also well known as “Nyonin Koya” or “Women’s Koya”.
Muroji Temple is also famous for its many existing Buddhist statues created in the Heian period that are designated National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. As such, many Buddhist art fans also come to visit the temple.
We will introduce the Muroji Temple grounds in this article.
*1 Kukai: the founder of the Shingon sect.
*2 Sohonzan: in Japanese Buddhism, it is a temple that is affiliated with all the temples of the sect.