Hamanomiya Oji Shrine
Hamanomiya Oji Shrine, located facing the sea, is believed to mark the place where pilgrims depart to the Pure Land paradise of Kannon.
Fudarakusanji is a temple dedicated to Mount Fudaraku, where Kannon is believed to dwell.
This detail illustrates a former practice at Nachi, Fudaraku Tokai, which involves sending a willing devotee in a sealed boat on a one-way journey to the imagined paradise of Kannon, Mount Fudaraku. The destination is the Japanese version of Potalaka, where the Indian Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is believed to dwell.
Ninosebashi Bridge over Nachi River
The white-robed couple appears in successive moments throughout the painting to guide us through this dazzling site. In this detail, they are traversing the Ninosebashi Bridge over Nachi River, where two people below are involved in a purification ritual.
Kumano Kudo (Kumano Ancient Path) is a well-known pilgrimage road that still exists today. “Kumano” refers to the area in Western Japan where Nachi is located.
This is a bridge known as Furigasebashi. It is part of the Kumano Kudo.
Tafuke Oji Shrine
Tafuke Oji Shrine is the last oji shrine that pilgrims encounter on the Kumano Kudo (Path). An oji shrine marks a place where pilgrims rest on their long journey.
Path to Nachi Shrine
Nowadays, the pathway leading to the Nachi Shrine is more complicated than is depicted in the mandala.
Hashaden (Eight-shrine Hall) is sacred to indigenous Shinto deities, each of which is regarded as the local manifestation of a Buddhist deity.
Haiden (Hall of Worship) is a place for worshipping the local deities and also for holding ceremonies. It is usually built in front of the sanctuary, which houses the main deity of Nachi.
Nio Gate, which has been moved to the entrance of Seigantoji Temple.
Path to Seigantoji Temple
Passing through the Nio Gate, the pilgrim can ascend to the Seigantoji Temple.
A subsidiary hall called Nyoirindo(now known as Seigantoji) houses Nyoirin Kannon, an important icon of veneration at the site. Seigantoji is the first stop on the famous Kannon Saigoku Pilgrimage, a circuit composed of 33 sites in Japan’s Western Provinces.
Okunoin (Mausoleum) was used to host funerals or rites for deceased local residents at Mount Nachi.
Golden clouds have been a favorite motif of Japanese artists since the Heian period (794-1185). This compositional device reveals and conceals certain vignettes in narrative paintings like the Nachi Pilgrimage Mandala.