Temple 27 Konomineji is situated a long days walk - about 28 kilometers - from the previous temple, Kongochoji. Konomineji is situated at 424 meters above sea level on the upper slope of Konomine Peak. A section of the footpath leading to it is very steep, so the temple is called a Nansho Temple, meaning that it is hard to reach. It is one of the most difficult climbs in the entire pilgrimage, the path leading to the temple continues for more than a kilometre at a slope of 45 degrees. It is also classed as a sekisho, a kind of "spiritual checkpoint" where your motives are examined and if found wanting pilgrims would be unable to carry on with the pilgrimage. Konomineji was founded in the early 8th century by Gyoki who is credited with founding quite a few of the temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, about a century later Kobo Daishi visited and expanded the temple. On the temple’s slopes is a beautifully sculpted vertical garden.
- ©John Lander
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