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Home>Visiting Places Associated with Sengoku>Hongan-ji Temple Saginomori-betsuin Branch Temple, Negoro-ji Temple, Kokawa-dera Temple

Kishu held independent power in the Sengoku period

Saika-shu, Negoro-shu, Kokawa-shu

The groups holding power in Kishu, including Saika-shu which had an elite rifle corps, conceded to the central power but did not form a subordinate-superior relationship. In addition, powerful shrines and temples had their own self-defense forces, such as Negoro-shu and Kokawa-shu, and did not tolerate intervention from the central power. Kishu held independent power in the Sengoku period and was called a rebellious land.

Several narratives exist, but Oda Nobunaga attempted to attack Kishu in 1577, and Hashiba Hideyoshi (later, Toyotomi Hideyoshi) in 1585. At times, Kishu forces also fought with one another and their strength was significantly eroded. Thereafter, they were incorporated into the central power’s system.

Hongan-ji Temple Saginomori-betsuin Branch Temple, a site connected to Saika-shu

This is a branch temple of Hongan-ji Temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect. Rennyo Shonin, the 8th head priest of Hongan-ji Temple, left the capital for Shimizuura in Kii Province (Kainan City) in 1486, and the presence of Hongan-ji Temple dramatically expanded. He moved the temple foundation to Kuroe and Goboyama. Saika Gobo, which was moved to Saginomori, Uji-go in Saikasho in 1563, is now Saginomori-betsuin Branch Temple. This site was the base for the followers of Saika-shu and is said to have received devoted support and reverence. It is one of the sites in Wakayama City connected to Saika-shu.

“Letter from Kennyo Shonin” is a treasured possession of Saginomori-betsuin Branch Temple.
This letter tells followers in various areas about leaving Osaka and the establishment of Hongan-ji Temple in Saginomori, and urges them to make a pilgrimage.

Saginomori-betsuin Branch Temple is where Kennyo Shonin transferred Hongan-ji Temple for 3 years after leaving Hongan-ji Temple in Osaka following 11 years of conflict with Nobunaga.

Location: 1 Saginomori, Wakayama-shi
TEL: 073-422-4677
Hours: 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sat., Sun., holidays 9:00 a.m.–noon
Access: Approx. 10 min. on foot from Nankai Electric Railway Wakayamashi Station

Negoro-ji Temple, a noted temple where a national treasure somberly stands


The principal image of the Dainichi-nyorai, Kongo-satta and Sonsho-butcho (important cultural property) is enshrined in the main hall, Daidenpo-do which was rebuilt in 1827.

This temple was opened approximately 900 years ago. Kakuban Shonin, who was also a scholar and a monk from Koyasan, opened this temple as a base for reforming education. In the Middle Ages, it became a large temple compound consisting of 300–400 temple quarters and developed as a city of religion and learning. In 1585, all but two or three temple buildings were burned down in the Kishu campaign headed by Hideyoshi. It was later restored under the patronage of the Tokugawa Family. The natural beauty of fall colors in autumn, cherry blossoms in spring, and lotus in early summer are resplendent.

The largest wooden pagoda in Japan, it has been designated a national treasure.

Daishido Hall, an important cultural property, survived the fire from the Kishu campaign. A statue of the founder of the Shingon sect, Kobo Daishi is enshrined as the principal image.

Location: 2286 Negoro, Iwade-shi
TEL: 0736-62-1144
Hours: 9:10 a.m.–4:00 p.m.; until 4:30 p.m. from April–October (temple entrance)
Fee: 500 yen
Access: Approx. 10 min. by bus from JR Wakayama Line “Iwade Station;” get off at “Iwade Toshokan” or “Negoroji”
Buses also run from Nankai Main Line “Tarui Station” and JR Hanwa Line “Izumi Sunagawa Station,” “Kii Station”

Kokawa-dera Temple, no. 3 of Saigoku Pilgrimage Sites; a famous garden created by Ueda Soko, warrior and master of tea ceremony

This is the main hall of this nationally designated important cultural property. The largest hall of the Saigoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage Sites, it is a composite Buddhist hall constructed as a multi-story building with a hip-and-gable roof.

The temple was opened in 770 by Otomo no Kujiko. Its estate in the Kamakura period was more than 40,000 koku of rice, and the spacious temple grounds stretched more than 4 km in all directions. In 1585, it suffered from the war with Hideyoshi and numerous temple treasures were lost. In the later period of Tokugawa, it was restored with assistance from the feudal lord, Yorinobu. Kokawa-dera Temple Garden is a national-designated site of scenic beauty. The temple is known nationwide as an important place for the Buddhist belief in the Goddess of Mercy.

Kokawa-dera Temple Garden is said to have been created by Ueda Soko, who was a Sengoku warrior and master of tea ceremony.

Senju Sengan Kannon Bosatsu is said to have been made in the early Kamakura period. It can be viewed in the main hall.

Location: 2787 Kokawa, Kinokawa-shi
TEL: 0736-73-4830
Hours: 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Fee: 400 yen
Access: Approx. 15 min. on foot from JR Wakayama Line “Kokawa Station”

Download the pamphlet (*Japanese only)

Opening a map of this area in the GoogleMap