Kouonji is the “Incense Garden” temple and is commonly known as the temple which supports women and protects children. It is also supposed to be the place where the pain of childbirth can be eased. It is the place where people come to pray for fertility in making families as well as a gateway temple for womaen to become Buddhas.
The walk up to the temple is very beautiful. It is very green, smells wonderful, and has moss covered trees and statues.
Very surprisingly, THIS is the temple. It has been rebuilt into a concrete block, and is very utilitarian in nature. Pilgrims are allowed to walk inside and sit on chairs. It is very lavish and rich on the inside, but the box-shape of this temple was rather unexpected.
No doubt, there is need and impulse within societies to modernize and make the old accessible to future generations. Whether or not this particular adaptation is successful or not is a good question. There are times of adjustment to get used to things falling outside our expectations. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned in that experience as well.
At any rate, let us continue on to the next temple!