{Shikoku Hachijūhachikasho Meguri}


The Mountain (San) Gate (Mon). The arched gate that you walk through to enter the temple complex. This marks your passage from the secular world to the sacred and delineates where your behavior is expected to change accordingly. Likewise, until you pass through the gate on your way out, you are still on sacred ground, even though you may have left the Hondō and Daisidō.

The Gardian Deity (Niō) Gate (Mon). The same as the sanmon above, except that on both the left and right sides of the arch/gate will be life-size statues of the temple's guardian deities (Niō), chosen and put there to protect the temple complex and all within.

A basin to the left or right at the very entrance to the temple complex. Usually just inside the sanmon or niōmon. On it, or hanging next to it, will be bamboo ladles and, sometimes, small towels. At the ablution basin you are expected to rinse your mouth and wash your hands so that you are pure upon entering the complex.

The belfry. Almost always nothing more than a simple roof supported on each of the four courners by a post, with the bell hanging in the middle. Frequently the striker, which hangs to one side, is tied up so that you can't use it. If you can, however, be sure to ring it on your way in and not on your way out.

The Main Hall. In every temple complex, there will be one Main Hall and one Daishi Hall. The Main Hall is dedicated to, and holds a statue of, one of the Buddhist deities. Occasionally several deities will be honored in one Hondō. The majority of these are closed and you won't be able to see inside. When you worship there, you chant your sutras in front of the closed door.

The Daishi Hall. This is the hall dedicated to Kōbō Daishi. Like the Main Hall, the front doors of the Daishi Hall are usually closed and you just chant your sutras in front of the closed door.

Incense holder. Usually a large cement or ceramic vase/jar about 1/2 m (1.5 ft) in diameter and full of sand.

A small glassed in box in front of the Daishidō and Hondō where you put lit candles. The glass keeps the wind and rain from putting out the flame. The enclosure itself is usually about 1 m (3 ft) wide by 3/4 m (2 ft) tall by 1/2 m (1.5 ft) deep and has glass on the front and back with red painted metal sides. It sits on a metal framework so that the glass doors are about 1.5 m (4 ft) off the ground. You light your candle and stick it on a holder inside the enclosure.

The office where you get the temple stamp in your Nōkyōchō (stamp book).