Oiwasan Nissekiji is a Buddhist temple of Shingon sect founded about 1,300 years ago in the mountain of Kamiichi-machi in Toyama Prefecture.
The founder is said to be Gyoki whose most important project in his life was to build Todaiji Temple in Nara where the great bronze statue of Buddha stands when the city was the capital of Japan. He worked as a Kanjin who solicited donation for the construction of the temple.
He came to Toyama when he traveled many places to spread the Buddhism. He curved a statue from the natural stone here in Nissekiji Temple. This is the beginning of this temple.
In the main hall, you will find the stone statue curved in 725. It is the biggest stone curved statue in Japan with the height of 2.8 meters. It is said that this big statue was curved on tuff by Gyoki only overnight.
The statue is Fudo Myooh or Acala, a protector of Dharma. He has a scary face and tries to persuade the people who don’t believe in Buddhism. He is the main Buddha of Mount Tsurugi, one of the highest peaks of Tateyama Mountain Range. It was curved so that it was designed to be looked from the bottom, so you will be impressed when you see him from the floor in the main hall.
Two other statues and the statue of the founder Gyoki were added on the side of Fudo Myooh later.
Three storied pagoda
There is a three storied pagoda in the precinct of the temple. It was constructed in 1845 which is the oldest wooden pagoda in Toyama Prefecture. It has a traditional style. There is a central pillar in the middle. This technique is applied to build Tokyo Skytree, the highest tower in the world to prevent from the collapse by the earthquake. There are no walls and you can see the inside.
It was constructed about 300 years ago. There are two guardian statues of Nio on both sides. They are guarding the temple from the evil spirits. This is one of the oldest construction in this temple.
There are waterfalls called Roppondaki meaning six waterfalls. Six signifies the five materials of the universe, earth, water, fire wind and air, plus vijnana or consciousness. Also it signifies six roots of perception. It is important to purify these six sense organs before worship. So people can stand under shte waterfalls and purify themselves.
We call it Takigyo, a Buddhist practice under the waterfalls. Everyone can try even foreigners. When you go there, you need to register at the reception. You can borrow a special white garment for 300 yen.
If you visit the temple, it is only a few minutes walk to the Sengankei Gorge, so please don’t miss it. There is a walkway along the river. At the end of the walkway, there is a cave and you will find statues of Buddha inside. It is a nice little walk.
Access from Toyama Station (JR): Take Toyama Chiho Railways to Kamiichimachi (上市町) station. Then transfer to the local bus to Oiwa (大岩山日石寺) stop. It takes at least one hour in total.