For the beauty of this setting and the richness of its
collection of statues, this temple is one of the most important in the
region. Belonging to the Shingon sect of esoteric Buddhism, it traces its
religious roots back to the 8th century and the introduction of Buddhism
from T'ang China. There is a legend, that two bulls carrying scriptures from
China fell on their knees below the site of present temple in the year 756,
hence the symbols of the temple are a pair of bulls.
In addition to the fine bull statues at the main gateway,
numerous other statues of considerable antiquity are preserved here. Eight
of these are important Culture Properties. The location on the side of Mt.
Hachibuse is magnificent, especially in spring and autumn. By bus, from
Matsumoto Stn. to Gofukuji-guchi bus stop (30 mins.), then a 3km walk.