Hello everyone 🙂
Here’s Saki, from Local travel Partners.
Last time, we have presented you a shintô sanctuary. Today we would like to introduce you to the Ryugeji temple 龍華寺 : a Buddhist temple.
The temple is located in the Shimizu ward of Shizuoka city, near the Mount Udo. It was established in 1670 in a place where one can enjoy one beautiful view of Mount Fuji.
The scenery of Mt. Fuji seen from the eastern foot of Mount Udo is one of Japan’s most representative landscapes, as well as the scenery of Mount Fuji seen from Miho no Matsubara. Both Ryugeji temple and Miho‘s pine tree grove are not far from each other.
Here is the entrance gate to the temple. You enter from the door on the left that “gets rid of bad luck” and go out by the right side door which “opens up good luck”.
Same as in a Shintô sanctuary, here is a water basin to purify yourself. You also purify the same way in a Buddhist temple.
We came across those mysterious “face stone” !
This red door is the “gyoukeimon” 行啓門.
It was build in Taisho era Year 11 (1922) when the Emperor Shôwa, crown Prince at that time, visited the temple. It leads to a beautiful japanese garden although you have to get around it.
Continuing your way, you arrive in front of the “soshidô” 祖師堂. It is a recent temple, build in Heisei era Year 15 (2003).
Overhead in the soshidô, you will find a total of 220 paintings, from paintings of dragons to flower and Buddhas. They were painted by Masaharu OGURA.
On the way from the soshidô to the hondô 本堂. The hondô has been built in the beginning of the Edo era.
Its particularity is the quaint thatched roof modeled after Mt. Fuji. The roof build is called “kayabuki” in japanese.
You can enjoy the Kanpuen garden 観富園, from the inside or even outside on the engawa with a cup of tea and some sweets.
The garden was made at the same time the temple was build. It is a “shumisen” style garden 須弥山式, which is the oldest style in Japanese garden conception.
The concept of this garden is a miniature view of Mount Fuji from the bay of Suruga. The house roof represents the Mount Fuji. There is a small pond for the Suruga bay and in foreground a small hill to represent Mount Udo.
When you turn your back to the Kanpuen garden, you can’t miss it :
This big cycas of a 1100 years ! It is certified as a national natural treasure. It is divided into several thick branches from the root, which spread in all directions while being closely intertwined.
Near the cycas, this enormous cactus grows widely. It is said it was brought here from the Ryugeji temple in Shanghai, and the cactus is more than a 300 years old !
Going up the hill to the cemetery of the temple, this 800 years old sacred tree stands proudly. It is the spiritual place of the temple.
Chogyu TAKAYAMA is one of the Meiji Period intellectuals who was inspired by Nichiren’s Buddhism teachings, he influenced a lot the Japanese literature in that period. He is well known for the historical novel “Takiguchi Nyūdō”.
He was taken by the view of the Mount Fuji from the temple hence he asked to be buried here. His bust is looking in the direction of the sacred mountain.
The temple keeps many treasure in the Chogyu-kan. There you can find a wide variety of treasures with historical interests including various gohonzons (the object of worship) of Nichiren Buddhism, as well as letters and manuscript of Chogyu TAKAYAMA himself.
On you way out, another garden with a pond welcomes you.
Ryugeji is not a big temple. Nevertheless there is so much to enjoy : from arts to literature, but also various natural monuments like the cycad or the cactus ! You can relax in the different Japanese garden. It is truly worth a visit ! It is really a beautiful place I would recommend 🙂
The temple is open everyday from 8:30 to 16:30. You can visit the site fully in one hour.
♦〈Access to the Ryugeji temple〉♦
- About 15 minutes by the “Ryugeji” bound bus from JR Shimizu Station.
- About 20 minutes by car from Tomei “Shimizu Interchange”1.
You can include the Ryugeji temple to your tour in Shizuoka, by bike or by taxi !
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested ! 🙂