The Kyoto Jusan Butsu Pilgrimage covers 13 temples dedicated to the 13 deities of Shingon Buddhism in Kyoto. Each temple enshrines, or once enshrined, an image of a different deity.
The 13 buddhas and bodhisattvas are Fudo Myo-o, Shaka Nyorai, Monju Bosatsu, Fugen Bosatsu, Jizo Bosatsu, Miroku Bosatsu, Yakushi Nyorai, Kannon Bosatsu, Seishi Bosatsu, Amida Nyorai, Ashuku Nyorai, Dainichi Nyorai and Kokuzo Bosatsu. For those who intend to do the pilgrimage, here is a list of temples.
By tradition, pilgrims visit the temples in order from 1 to 13. All but
one are located in the Kyoto metropolitan area. Kyoto's Tourist
Information Office can help with train and bus schedules, and how to
reach the temples.
The pilgrims's book (nokyocho) is actually a kind of ring binder. A plain one is available at Chishakuin, but a nicer one with a picture of the 13 buddhas on the cover can be bought at Toji Temple.
The basic procedure at each temple is that you exchange a blank page
from your nokyocho for one pre-inscribed and stamped at the
nokyo (pilgrim's office), which will cost 300 yen. Only the date
will be entered while you wait. Then find the hall with the correct
buddha image, toss some money into the donation box, ring the bell
(actually a kind of gong that you strike with a vertical rope) three
times and say a prayer. You may also light three incense sticks or
three candles, the number representing the Buddha, the Dharma and the
Sangha. Not all of the temples have an image on display.
Pages from the Kyoto Jusan Butsu pilgrim's book.
Many of the pilgrimage temples charge an entrance fee of 300-600 yen, which contributes towards the upkeep of the temple, its gardens and its ancient sculptures.