Slow Walk Illustrated Guide
Zentsu-ji Garan Complex (East Temple)
This is Zentsu-ji Temple. Zentsu-ji Temple was built in 807 by Kobo Daishi (Kukai) upon his return to Japan from Tang China. It was built on land of about 436 meter squares donated by his father Saeki Yoshimichi, and modelled on the Blue Dragon Temple in Changan where the Master Huiguo (Keika-oshō) lived. The temple is said to be named from the characters of Yoshimichi, which was Kobo Daishi’s father’s name. The Tanjo-in Birthplace Complex was built during the Kamakura period on the ruins of the Saeki residence, where Kobo Daishi (Kukai) was born. Zentsu-ji and the Tanjo-in functioned as separate and independent temples with their own chief priest until the Meiji period. Now, Zentsu-ji is the Sohonzan Zentsu-ji Main Temple of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, and it is temple number 75 on the Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage to 88 Sacred Places. As it is the birthplace of Kobo Daishi, Zentsu-ji is also one of the “Three Great Sacred Places of Kobo Daishi”, along with Koyasan Temple in Wakayama prefecture and To-ji Temple in Kyoto prefecture.
3-3-1 Zentsuji-cho, Zentsuji City, Kagawa Prefecture