Abuto Kannon: Vermilion-lacquered temple hall atop a cliff
Located just four kilometers west of Tomonoura on the cape of Abuto-misaki stands the Kannon-dō Hall at Bandai-ji Temple, an Important Cultural Property of Japan that is often simply known as “Abuto Kannon.”
The Kannon-dō Hall is said to have been built around 1570-1573 by the warlord Mōri Terumoto. The image of the vermilion-lacquered Kannon-dō Hall perched atop a stone wall on the sea is like that of a magnificent picture scroll. In fact, the famous ukiyo-e painter Utagawa Hiroshige depicted this elegant scenery in his work.
If you walk from the reception hall of Abuto Kannon, you will reach the Kannon-dō Hall. The first thing you will notice inside are the many prayer tablets along the wall in the shape of women’s breasts. Abuto Kannon is widely regarded as a temple to pray for safe childbirth. Many of these breast-shaped prayer tablets are handmade, expressing the warm sentiment towards family here.