Mizusawa Kannon Temple was founded by Ekan, a high ranking monk from Goryeo, more than 1300 years ago in accordance with an order of Emperor Suiko and Emperor Jitoh.
The name "Gotokuzan Mizusawadera" is from an imperial document handwritten by Emperor Suiko.
The precincts contain the Main Hall (Kannon Hall), a hexagonal two-storied pagoda (a prefectural designated important cultural property) enshrining the six good luck Jizo statues, the bell tower and the Shaka Hall.
The Shaka Hall enshrines the statues of the Shaka Triad, a sitting statue of Amida Buddha by the monk Enku (a city designated important cultural property), the statue of eleven-headed Kanzeon Bosatsu and many more.
Main Hall (Kannon Hall) is at the center of the temple precincts and enshrines our principal Buddhist statue, Eleven-Headed Thousand-Armed Kanzeon Bosatsu. Eleven-Headed Thousand-Armed Kanzeon Bosatsu is known as the accommodating Kanzeon from ancient times. She offers aid and accommodates all wishes from living things. The building was completed in the middle of the Edo period (at a similar time to the hexagonal pagoda) and all sculptures have been carved out of the wood.
The Main Hall (Kannon Hall) appears to have been built in the middle of the Edo period and was designated as an Ikaho Town Cultural Property in 1985.
The view of the Rokkakudo through the main hall is aesthetically pleasing.
The extended eaves and the cusped gable (Nokikarahafu) at the front of the main hall show the distinctive beauty of early modern architecture. They are an important remnant of period prefectural buildings, hinting back to medieval architecture.
At the extended eaves, you can see various beautiful decorations that have been sculpted through ‘carving in the round’ and ‘openwork’ techniques.
Our principal Buddhist statue, Eleven-Headed Thousand-Handed Kanzeon Bosatsu, used to be owned owned by Princess Ikaho. It is our hidden Buddhist statue now and not shown to the public.
Rokkakudo, meaning a hexagonal pagoda, has copper batten seam roofing and was completed in the middle of the Edo period. This building is a fine expression of Japanese Jizo faith. It enshrines the statues of six Jizo guarding the 6 realms (hellish, ghost, animal, human, demi-god and heavenly) and represents the Buddhist wheel of life. These statues are sitting on a rotating pedestal. If you pray with all your heart while turning this pedestal 3 times to the left, your wishes will come true.
Rokkakudo is a fine expression of Japanese Jizo faith. Six Jizo statues on a rotating pedestal are very rare and this is the only place you can see it in Japan.
For the Human realm, A Houkouoh Jizo Statue
A Dainichi Buddha statue is enshrined in the second story of Rokkakudo.
The Shaka Hall is open to the public for free at this moment.
Preservation work on the Niomon Gate, the Nio statues and the statues of The Shaka Triad was completed in November 1994 and work on the statues of The Wind God and The Thunder God was completed in November 1995.
Preservation work on the Main Hall and the bell tower was completed in October 1997 and work on our surrogate principal Buddhist statue (the statue of Eleven-Headed Thousand-Armed Thousand-Eyed Kanzeon Bosatsu) was completed in the following November. On this occasion, we enshrined the statues of The Shaka Triad in the Shaka Hall as a promise to protect all these important statues ever after, also enshrining a sitting statue of Amida Buddha by the monk Enku, twenty-eight Deities statues, Eleven-Headed Kanzeon Bosatsu statue and many more. Furthermore, to pray for well-being of household, business and other matters, we enshrined statues of Bandoh thirty-three Kanzeon Bosatsu, set up the Osunafumi places for pilgrimage and set the place for Kanzeon faith in the hall. Finally, the Shaka Hall was completed in July 2001.
Opening hours; 9am-4pm
The Shaka Hall enshrines a Shaka Buddha statue in the center, a statue of Monju Bosatsu, riding a lion, on the left and one of Fugen Bosatsu, riding an elephant, on the right.
This Kanzeon was made during the Heian period and is the symbolic statue of more than 1300 years of temple history. It was designated as a Shibukawa City Important Cultural Property in March 2016. It is said that this statue expresses the blessing of Buddha, the 11 heads taking 11 evils and anguishes from your heart and replacing them with 11 joys and contentments.
Here we have also enshrined twenty-eight Deities statues, the statue of Eleven-Headed Kanzeon Bosatsu and many more.
This area introduces the thirty-three Kannon sacred places of Bandoh and each associated Buddhist statue. It enshrines thirty-three Kanzeon Bosatsu statues to pray for well-being of household, business and other matters and is set up with Osunafumi spots for pilgrimage.
Completed in July 2001.
From ancient times, it has been said that Buddhas speak through temple bells. We express our appreciation for Mother Nature and pray for the countless Buddhas while listening to the bell in the morning and evening. You can join the ringing of the New Year’s Bell. Ring the bell, dismiss worldly desires, and welcome the new year.
The entrance path leads you to the Niomon Gate enshrining Nio, The Wind God and The Thunder God. This extremely colorful gate also enshrines the statues of the Shaka Triad in its second story.
This gate was completed in the middle of the Edo period and has copper plate roofing, is two-storied and is of Irimoya architecture (a traditional East Asian architecture).
The Nios are called Kongorikishi, are holding Kongo pestles and are guardians of Shaka Buddha. The original statues are preserved in the Shaka Hall, so new ones were made and enshrined in the Niomon Gate.
There is a dragon painting at the center of the ground floor ceiling of the gate. It is signed ‘by Hogen Kano Tanun 85 years old’.
A Fugen Bosatsu (left), a Shaka Buddha (center) and a Monju Bosatsu (right). The new statues of The Shaka Triad were made and enshrined because the original statues are preserved in the Shaka Hall along with the Nio statues.
The Mizuko Jizo is a guardian deity for the spirits of stillborn, miscarried or aborted children. Of course, parents wish their children’s spirits happiness and joy in heaven.
However, it is said that these unfortunate children, who couldn’t achieve their destiny of birth and the ones who left this realm due to accidents or sickness, are bullied by demons at Children's Limbo, crying ‘I miss my dad. I miss my mum.’ The Mizuko Jizo is the one who protects those children in place of their parents. Our Mizuko Jizo statue shows children clinging to the Jizo, being protected by it.
Even only praying to the Jizo is a good, small memorial service for the children. We recommend you pray and entrust your message to the Jizo and hold a small memorial service for the children whose lives couldn’t be saved in this realm.
Gassho (Hands in a prayer position)
Mizusawa Kannon Temple
214 Mizusawa Ikaho Shibukawa City, Gunma 〒377-0103
TEL.0279-72-3619 / FAX.0279-72-4629
From JR Takasaki Station
Take Gunma Bus「Ikaho Onsen」
From JR Shibukawa Sation
Take Gunma Bus「Ikaho Onsen」
About 20min. from Shibukawa Ikaho IC