Founded below an overhanding cliff, Takkoku-no-Iwaya integrates its structure with a shallow cave housing a statue of Bishamon, the Japanese god of battle. Established in 801 to commemorate the Yamato people’s victory over the indigenous Emishi tribes, Takkoku-no-Iwaya’s original design was lost after burning down multiple times. Today, the reconstruction is designed in a similar fashion to Kiyomizudera of Kyoto. Though there were once 108 statues of Bishamon, only 33 remain today. Though usually hidden away, they are revealed to the public once every 33 years.

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