Located in the mountains of Shibukawa, Gunma, Mizusawa Kannon (Gotokusan Mizusawa Kanzeon) is more than 1,300 years old. Kannon is the Bodhisattva of compassion. The temple grounds reflect the changing of the four seasons. The main hall in the center enshrines the principal image of the 11-faced, thousand armed Avalokiteshwara (Kannon). The two-storied hexagonal pagoda is called Ksitigarbha Pagoda or Rokkakudo (hexagonal pagoda). It was founded in 1787 and enshrines the six Ksitigarbha (Jizo) Bodhisattvas.
The hexagonal pagoda has a revolving shaft on its first layer. It is similar to a Rinzo, something like storage for sutras, of which shelves are made to rotate freely by visitors turning them for their wishes to be granted. A copper Jizo Bodhisattva's standing image is enshrined in each of the pagoda's six sides. It was built to reflect the faith of Roku Jizo (Six Jizo Bodhisattvas, each of whom saves people who are in the six realms of suffering).
The Bezaiten (Sarasvati, the Goddess of fortune) is where mystical energy is thought to be flowing more than anywhere else on the temple grounds. It is said that you would succeed in business if you could see the Bezaiten holding a Japanese bute and standing in the spring water. There are many other Kannon Bodhisattvas enshrined on the temple grounds of Mizusawa Kannon, and each of these Bodhisattvas is believed to generate a lot of energy for visitors. Mizusawa Kannon has a lot of spots that are believed to bring you good fortune.
On New Year's Eve, people from both inside and outside of Gunma come to Mizusawa Kannon to ring the Joya-no-kane (the bells on New Year's Eve). The Setsubun-sai (bean-throwing festival) is held annually on February 3.
Outside of the temple grounds, there is an array of Mizusawa Udon restaurants close by. Mizusawa Udon traces back its history to the Edo Era (1603-1867), and all restaurants have their own recipe and pride themselves on the wheat noodles they serve.
Nearby sightseeing spots include Ikaho Onsen, a spa resort known for its landmark stone steps. At the top of the stone steps, there is a day onsen called Ikaho Rotenburo (open-air bath) where you can casually enjoy onsen and a foot bath.