make a jyuzu Buddhist prayer bracelet in a workshop at the temple

Bead Bracelet Making at Housho-in Temple

shodoshima island, kagawa prefecture, visitwestjapan
Photograph | Kenji Chida


Try bead bracelet making at Housho-in Temple. With advanced registration, you can make a jyuzu Buddhist prayer bracelet in a workshop at the temple. They supply all the materials you need to translate your sense of style into a spiritual yet fashionable bracelet.

The master priest at Housho-in explains that these bracelets have a specific function. In the past, monks, priests and acolytes used to actually count individual beads taken from a vessel as they recited sutras or chanted. Rosary and later bracelets developed from the idea of making the entire process portable.

The rosary used in the Shingon school of Buddhism have two sets of 54 beads strung together with two branches of counter beads at either end. The idea is that the worshiper can keep count of his or her prayer up to a maximum of ten thousand times.

The bead bracelet not only an ultra-portable reminder of your vows as a Buddhist, but is also a fun accessory. You can make one at the temple under the guidance of an instructor, selecting from the many beads that they have on offer.

Decide on your motif and just go for it. The signature bead is made from the wood of the olive tree, but there is a wide selection, including onyx and tiger’s eye. You get one free large bead but the others are priced from 100-200 yen each, so keep that in mind when making your selection.

The number of beads you need depends on your wrist size, but it generally runs from 19-26. This workshop is open to everyone and is very popular with elementary school children. They enjoy making their own bracelets from scratch and adding beads as they grow. Kids as young as seven regularly participate.

Access: Take the bus bound for Okayama Port (Shin-Okayama-Ko) from JR Okayama Station. Take the ferry bound for Tonosho Port from Okayama Port. Housho-in Temple is about a 10-minute taxi ride or a 40-minute walk from Tonosho Port.



The second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, Shodoshima belongs to Kagawa Prefecture, but is easily accessible from ferries running from Okayama Prefecture as well.

Shodoshima boasts several nice beaches, hot spring resorts, and beautiful coastal scenery on the exterior of the island, with a mountainous interior. Some of the sights on the interior of the island include the famous Olive Park, Kankakei Gorge and ropeway, and a monkey park.

Gourmands will enjoy touring a soy sauce museum to learn about the 400-year-old tradition of making soy products on the island. Sesame seed oil and olive products are also well-known items from the region. Popular sightseeing destinations on the exterior of the island include a soy sauce factory, and Angel Road, a sandbar that visitors can walk along at low tide to reach a small island (see SmartTour code SM-KAG-010).

Shodoshima is part of the Setouchi International Art Triennale; as such, several permanent installations of contemporary art are on view to visitors. The artwork creates a wonderful contrast between the modern and the traditional as well as the natural and human-made.

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