Kyoto’s Power Spot, Kurama Temple, Home of The Tengu / 鞍馬寺

2013.06.23 [PLACES,WHAT'S NEW]

 Kyoto’s Power Spot, Kurama Temple, Home of The Tengu

Moving the capital from ancient Nara to Heiankyo, old Kyoto, was no random decision taken towards
the end of the eighth century AD by the Emperor Kammu.  For it was mainly due to reasons associated
with directional taboo adopted from Chinese geomancy that Kyoto was considered a particularly auspicious
place for the location of the new, peaceful capital of Japan.  Being surrounded by mountainous areas on
three sides as well as abundant, flowing waters of the Kamo、Katsura and Takano rivers proved that Kyoto
could be both safe and fertile.  Kyoto itself is considered sacred in the hearts of most Japanese as is served
as the power base of the entire country for over one thousand years. 





The City of Kyoto and its environs are also places with a high concentration of religious structures, mostly
Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.  In accordance with Shinto practices, the indigenous belief system
of the Japanese people, certain natural objects such as trees, rocks and streams of water in which it is felt
the spirit of a kami (god) resides will be singled out by special decorations.  In some cases, an energy
centre on the grounds of a shrine or temple will be distinguished as a sacred spot since it would be felt that
there is a source of power generated there.  A similar phenomenon exists in Western culture with ley lines.






The place considered the prime power spot of Kyoto is to be found slightly to the north of the centre
of the city in the region of Mt. Kurama where the Kurama Temple is located.  Kurama Temple is famous
for its magical associations in the form of this power spot, its accompanying spirit king named Tengu and
the associated Kurama Fire Festival that takes place in the area annually on 22 October.  It was here that Minamoto no Yoshitsune, the famed samurai general, was said to have learned the secrets of swordsmanship
from the Tengu on Mt. Kurama. The god worshipped at this temple is called Sonten, ‘the cosmic energy that
gives life to every living thing.’  Sonten is described as being an amalgamation of three different deities
symbolised by the Kurama Tengu, a mountain wizard having wings on his back, a long beard and an exceptionally long nose.






Very visible being in front of the main hall of Kurama Temple is a designed pavestone of a hexagonal
mosaic of rocks of various shapes with a triangle in its centre, the entirety of which is surrounded by
a six-pointed star.  This is considered to be the main power spot of Kyoto where one can be energised
simply by standing on the triangle.  Walking around the grounds of the temple will lead one to other
sacred areas as well as a secondary power spot to perhaps harness more energy. 





The general term tengu refers to the most famous type of mountain spirits in Japan.  They are easily
identified by male images with red faces and ridiculously long noses.  Legend has it that they dwell in
tall cedars as well as pine trees in the mountains and had wings with which to fly high up into the sky. 
The tengu entities are not human, a Buddha or a kami; they are mischievous beings that tempt humans
to commit evil, hence their comically demonic appearance, although they could sometimes bring good





(Japan World Writer / Pauline Chakmakjian, MA)




Address; 京都府京都市左京区鞍馬本町1074
      1074 Kurama Honmachi, Sakyo Ku, Kyoto


Entry Fee; 200円


Open; 9:00〜16:30



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