Kimpusen-ji

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Kimpusen-ji
金峯山寺
Kinpusenji Yoshino Nara02n4272.jpg
"Zaō-Hall" (Zaōdō), a National Treasure
Information
Mountain name Kokujikusan
Denomination Kimpusen-Shugendō
Venerated Zaō gongen (蔵王権現)
Founded Second half of 7th century
Founder(s) En no Gyōja
Address 2498 Mount Yoshino, Yoshino, Yoshino district, Nara Prefecture
Country Japan
Website http://www.kinpusen.or.jp/
In Japanese

Kimpusen-ji (金峯山寺 Kinpusen-ji?) is the head temple of a branch of the Shugendō religion called Kimpusen-Shugendō in Yoshino district, Nara Prefecture, Japan. According to tradition, it was founded by En no Gyōja, who propagated a form of mountain asceticism drawing from Shinto and Buddhist beliefs.

The temple's main building, the "Zaō-Hall" (Zaōdō) dedicated to Zaō gongen (蔵王権現), is the second largest wooden structure in Japan after the Great Buddha Hall at Tōdai-ji in Nara. Kimpusen-ji is a junction in a series of stops on pilgrimage routes.

A Shinto shrine dedicated to Inari Ōkami is attached to the main compound. In 1963, the Temple constructed a hall named Southern Court Mystic Law Hall (Nanchō Myōhōden) to appease the soul of the four emperors of the Southern Court and others who lost their lives in many battles since the "Northern and Southern Courts period" (Nanboku-chō period, 1336-1392). The principal image is the statue of Gautama Buddha (Shaka Nyōrai).

In 2004, it was designated as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.

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Coordinates: 34°22′5.71″N 135°51′29.40″E / 34.3682528°N 135.8581667°E / 34.3682528; 135.8581667