While you are in Kagawa-ken, it might be good to check out the temples in the area. As you may already know, there are a LOT. The 88 Buddhist Temple Pilgrimage, established by the priest Kukai (also called Kobo Daishi), walked the circumference of Shikoku and established this pilgrimage route. While it may be hard to see all the temples, or the pilgrimage may be a journey for another day, I would like to introduce you to Shidoji, the 86th temple on the pilgrimage route.
This is a very rustic, and well-weathered temple on the 88 Buddhist Temple Pilgrimage route. While some temples get a lot of attention, and are on either end of the journey they may get more visitors. The good side for that is that there is enough foot traffic to support the temple and keep things very tidy and kept nice. The downside is that there are often other visitors at the time you want to have some space to yourself.
Shidoji is off the path of “off the beaten path”, and as a result, looks a bit worn. But even so, very much worth the visit to getting out there. The temple grounds are not huge, but you can get very close to the buildings and the architectural structures without worrying too much that you are intruding.
There is a story about this particular temple of about a woman who recovered the lost jewels of a famous concubine. The jewels were sent from the concubine to her brother but were lost at sea. The brother married a diver to recover the jewels, but before she agreed to go beneath the waves she made her husband agree to make their son the family heir.
The woman dove beneath the waves but was pursued by the Dragon King. Cutting herself open and hiding the jewels within she escaped, but perished as she reached the surface. Her child, Fusasaki, became the heir to the Fujiwara family. The jewels were moved to Nara.
This temple is a memorial to the brave diver. A tomb is here to celebrate her life.
Consider dropping a couple extra coins in the collection box as you pass through as your good deed for the day. Paying forward to the next pilgrim coming through may bring you good karma. Temples survive mostly on the generosity of the guests who come through.