Peonies to heal your heart

Kokubun-ji Temple is known for its moss-covered grounds and beautiful Japanese-style garden. But perhaps it is most colorful and fragrant in spring. Around 20 years ago, the former head priest planted peonies, which still continue to bloom every year. As you walk toward one of the grand structures (called koumyoden), you will see around 50 peonies blooming in beautiful bursts of mostly red and pink

Kokubun-ji Temple is the 29th stop along the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage, which is the historic 1200-kilometer loop around the entire island of Shikoku. The Kochi portion of the pilgrimage is known for its particularly arduous trails, so I imagine the sight of these peonies must be so soothing for pilgrims. In fact, I overhear several pilgrims in their recognizable white clothing and sedge hat utter the words ""iyasareru"" (very healing) as they walk by the gentle flowers

Perhaps this is what the former priest had in mind when he decided to start planting peonies all those years ago

Kokubun-ji Temple is about 30 minutes from downtown Kochi City by car 
The peonies reach peak bloom around mid-April 

Learn more about the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage: https://visitkochijapan.com/en/highlights/henro
Kokubun-ji Temple official website: https://www.tosakokubunji.org/english/index.html
  • Peonies to heal your heart

  • Peonies to heal your heart

  • Peonies to heal your heart