Jodoji was one of the most recommended temples on the Onomichi Temple Pilgrimage. I had 2 people recommend me to visit this temple, but I was a little let down. This could be due to the fact that it was the last temple I visited or it could be the fact that I had a big scare before I visited this temple. I didn’t feel as happy visiting this temple as I feel I should have, but it is still a beautiful temple.
Jodoji is the farthest temple from the station but highly recommended. I arrived from the side as the main entrance would require me to head down to the wharf and I just couldn’t do that. The first thing that you will notice is that Jodoji is quite unique. The architecture and the various buildings are quite different to the other temples in Onomichi. There are some stylistic ques from the other temples but the layout was quite different.
The second thing you will notice at Jodoji is the pigeons. It is infested with pigeons and I had no idea why. Perhaps there is a lot of good food for them to eat but I really had no idea. I really couldn’t take many photos without getting a pigeon in the photo at the same time.
Overall, I must have been expecting too much as I felt let down by Jodoji. Perhaps the weather just wasn’t good enough when I visited but I didn’t feel as moved by it as I thought I might have been. The view of the Onomichi and Shin-Onomichi Bridge is nice as you are pretty close to it but it really isn’t that different compared to the other areas in Onomichi.
If you do visit Jodoji, you should also head behind Jodoji and visit Kairyuji. If you head out the side entrance, you are at the entrance of Kairyuji. While Kairyuji is not as big as Jodoji, it was more interesting for me. There is a small cemetery behind the main building and they had a lot of little Daruma at the main temple building. They also have a small building where I saw a traveller stop to pray. If you look behind the cemetery, you’ll notice a large rock face and a chain. You can actually climb the rock to the top, but I have absolutely no idea where it goes to.
Jodoji was a disappointment for me but I would still recommend people to go there. I was probably not in the good mindset to really enjoy it. I was a little hungry, tired, and the weather was still not so good. I would love to go back again and really try to enjoy the temple properly, but who know when that will be. I hope that if you do go there you will enjoy it a lot more than me.