Shrines & Temples

    Shokoku-ji Temple

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    Shokoku-ji Temple

    The second most important Zen temple that contributed to the development of Zen Culture

    To the north of the Kyoto Imperial Palace grounds, there stands a large temple site.  This is Shokoku-ji Temple, the headquarters of the Shokokuji School of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism, opened in 1392 by the third Ashikaga Shogun, Yoshimitsu, with Muso Kokushi, the important Buddhist monk in those days, as the head priest.  It has been regarded as the second most important Zen temple in Kyoto since then.  The Ho-do Hall is an Important Cultural Property that was restored in 1605 by Hideyori Toyotomi and is Japan’s oldest temple hall of this kind.  In the hall can be found a statue of Shaka Nyorai sculpted by Unkei while the ceiling is decorated with a powerful dragon painting by Mitsunobu Kano.  The Ho-do Hall, Kaizan-do Hall with its beautiful paintings by Okyo Maruyama, a bathroom restored in 1596 and the Hojo building with a superb Japanese garden are open to the public only in spring and autumn.  This temple also has a strong connection with Jakuchu Ito, a talented Edo-period painter in Kyoto.  Some of his paintings are displayed in the temple’s Jotenkaku Museum (additional admission fee is required).  It is recommended to visit both temple buildings and the museum.

    Translation to English by AD BRAIN INC.
    Fujin-gaho,December issue,2013


    Name Shokoku-ji Temple
    Address Imadegawa-dori Karasuma-higashi-iru, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto
    Tel 075-231-0301
    Hours 10:00-16:30 *Enter by 30 min. before the closing time for the special opening period
    Recommended Entry: 800 yen