Located about 10 to 15 minutes away from the pond of God is the Yakcheonsa Buddhist Temple. Its name means carries the meaning of the temple where medicine water flows. Looking at its recent completion in 1990 you’d expect to find a modern looking temple. However, it was built after the style of the Buddhist temples of the early Joseon Dynasty and has the typical colors of traditional Korean houses. The Yakcheonsa temple is believed to be one of the largest in Korea. You can visit the Great Hall of Virochana Buddha, the Hall of the Three Sages, the Hall of 500 Arahan and the Cave Bharma Hall. Upon approaching the temple, Ina thought we might not be allowed inside but it is allowed as long you take off your shoes.
The Great Hall of Virochana Buddha
Once you step inside it is hard to focus on anything in particular. There is a decoration in every part of the decoration and everything is colourful. The main ‘attraction’ inside a Buddhist temple are the buddha’s, but I found everything surrounding these buddha’s just as impressive.
There are 4 floors above the one you enter and you are allowed to go up until the third floor. In order to get there, you have to climb staircases that are surrounded by paintings of animals. Throughout the entire temple, there are also a lot of paintings which portray other legends.
A few weeks ago, Buddha’s birthday was celebrated in this temple. We think that this is why there were so many lampions. Every single one of them carries a wish that given by the people.
Outside the temple, there are three wells where you can drink clean mountain water. Near the Cheonjeyeon waterfalls, we tried out a water tap with water from the mountains as well. We could taste that it came from nature then, but the water at the temple is really clean.
On our way to the Hall of Three Sages, we got a clear view on the gong. We might or might not have tried whether it actually produces a sound.
The Hall of the Three Sages
The Hall of 500 Arahan
Likewise as in the temple, you are allowed to go in the Hall of 500 Arahan if you take off your shoes. The hall is filled with 500 Buddhist disciples. Some of them hold one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. All of them have a different personality and none looks the same.
The Cave Bharma Hall
Inside the Cave Bharma Hall, a man was doing his prayers. We decided to let him pray in peace and left after taking a quick look and a picture.
As we didn’t enter the temple through the main entrance, we decided to take it as our exit route. The stairs lead you back down past a pond with a small waterfall. This water is believed to be carrying medical qualities. If you are to enter the temple through the main entrance, you will first pass a pile of stones. These stones are stones of luck. It is something we’ve seen more than once on Jeju.
The beauty and details in and outside of the buildings instantly made me feel alive. If you get the chance to stop by and view the temple, I definitely suggest you do. If you wish, you can even leave your prayer.