Type: Temple 寺
Location: Kinokawa city, Wakayama Prefecture, JAPAN
Date of Visit: February 11, 2013
Access: JR Wakayama Line - Kokawa Station (和歌山線ー粉河駅)
Fee: Parking ¥500
Kokawa-dera is impressive for the beautiful stone work throughout the complex. Easy to walk to with no long stairs or hikes from the entrance it's also one of the most accessible of the Saikoku 33 temples. If you don't come by car, it's only 10 minutes or so from the nearest train station to the entrance also. The gem of Kokawa-dera is the amazing rock garden that makes up the retaining wall of the temple. It's also registered national cultural asset. While the garden dates from the 16th century the temple itself has a history dating back to 770. A picture scroll describing the foundation of the temple by a hunter is a natural treasure and is kept in the Kyoto National Museum. The lotus flower fountain in the front is amazing too. Behind the temple is a small Shinto shrine that had a two peacocks and some koi fish to look at.
The hill next to the temple is a city park with a small playground, view point and walking trails.