Kichijo-ji Temple was built by Takeda Nobumitsu during the Jogen Years (1207-1210) as a temple to ward off evil spirits from Isawa Yakata, a residence of the Kai Takeda Clan. It is said that the temple was founded specifically for the purpose of enshrining the Bishamonten deity image that was inherited from Shinra Saburo Yoshimitsu, founder of the Kai Genji Clan. A Munefuda tag which remains affixed to the temple indicates that the temple was rebuilt by Takeda Shingen in 1565 and once again restored and rebuilt in 1679. The main hall is designated an Intangible Cultural Property of Yamanashi City, and has transoms inside that are carved with sculptures of a large centipede considered to be Bishamonten’s messenger.
On the grounds of the temple stands a Edohigan-zakura cherry tree. It was said to be planted by Shinra Saburo Yoshimitsu himself, and is thus also called “Shinra-zakura.” The Shinra-zakura tree collapsed once in a typhoon that struck in 1947, but new buds sprouted thereafter from a single root, and the tree regained its health once again. It is designated a Natural Monument of Yamanashi Prefecture and blooms beautiful flowers in profusion in spring.


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