Kongobuji : Headquarters of Koyasan Shingon Buddhism
Inside the Temple
In addition to the main temple of Kongobuji, this kitchen was also registered as a Cultural Property of Wakayama Prefecture during 1950's.
There are several features that make this kitchen unique. One of these features is the huge tank made of Koya-maki trees (高野槙) that is used to store the pure spring water. The old ovens next to the tank are still used today. A massive chimney was created to protect against fire. Another eye-catching feature is the shelf hanging from the ceiling. The white papers which surround the shelf prevented rodents from being able to get the food.
Another feature that grabs the curiosity of many people, are the huge rice cookers called ‘Nigoku-gama’. Almost 98 kilograms of rice can be cooked at one time and this quantity can serve approx. 2,000 people. It is a Japanese custom to prepare rice cakes for the New Year's holiday and these rice cookers were used for that purpose. Although they have not been used since the mid 1980's, they were used every year on December 28th.
The last item of note is the small shrine above the rice cookers. Sanpo-Kojin-sama, a god of the kitchen, is enshrined and has been watching over the Kongobuji kitchen for hundreds of years.
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