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 (Avatar Zaō)
Founded Second half of 7th century
Founder(s) En no Ozunu
Address 2498 Yoshino-yama, Yoshino-chō Yoshino-gun, 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 Ozunu, who propagated a form of mountain asceticism drawing from Shintō and Buddhist beliefs. The temple's main building "Zaō-Hall" (Zaōdō) is the second largest wooden structure in Japan, right after the "Great-Buddha-Hall" (daibutsuden) at Tōdai-ji in Nara. Kimpusen-ji is a junction in a series of stops on pilgrimage routes.

A Shinto shrine dedicated to Inari 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 "South Court" and other people 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 Shakyamuni (Shaka Nyorai).

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