Hesoishi (Bellybutton Stone) at Rokkaku-do

Choho-ji temple, aka Rokkaku-do, located in the office area of Kyoto, is the 18th site of Saigoku sanjusan kasho kannon reijo (西国三十三所観音霊場) pilgrimage.

The temple is said to be founded by the prince Shotoku (聖徳太子, a semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period), and its history is ancient.

On the premises, there is a hexagonal stone called Hesoishi. The stone is not so eye-catching and can be easily overlooked, however, its story is very interesting:

At the time of Heian Kyo (the former name of Kyoto, as the former capital of Japan) construction, the location of Rokkaku-do was to be on the center of a street according to the city planing. In order to solve the problem, the Rokkaku-do itself moved northward for 15 meters, leaving Hesoishi stone alone on its original spot. Today, Heisoishi is moved into the premises again.

Hesoishi is also said to be located at the very center of Kyoto. That's where the name of Heso (Bellybutton) came from. Why don't you visit there to see it? Akane Kibune


5mins. on foot from Karasuma Oike station, Kyoto subway





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