The highlights and how to get to Shoji-ji.

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Shoji-ji (勝持寺) is a Tendai Sect (天台宗) Buddhist temple located in Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto City.

Because it has been famous for beautiful flowers and autumn leaves since ancient times, it is also called the ‘Temple of Flowers (花の寺)‘.

Inside the precincts of this temple, there is a famous cherry tree called ‘Saigyo-Zakura (西行桜)‘ which was planted by Saigyo (西行).
He was a famous monk and poet during the period between the late Heian period (平安時代) and the Kamakura period (鎌倉時代).

The Noh play (能楽) which is called ‘Saigyo-zakura’ written by Zeami (世阿弥) is modeled after this cherry tree and Saigyo.

So, I went to Shoji-ji this time.

*この記事はメニューから言語の切替が可能です。(As for this article, the choice of the language is possible from the menu.)

Contents:

  1. The history of Shoji-ji
  2. About Shoji-ji
  3. Information for visitors
  4. The highlights of Shoji-ji
  5. The videos/photos of Shoji-ji
  6. The Goshuin (the stamp of shrine or temple) of Shoji-ji
  7. How to get to Shoji-ji
  8. Hotel search & reservation around Shoji-ji

1.The history of Shoji-ji

Let’s study the history of this temple with me before introducing Shoji-ji.
I think that we can enjoy the sightseeing of this temple more by learning the history of it. XD

It is said that Shoji-ji was founded in 679 of the Asuka period (飛鳥時代) by EN no Ozunu (役小角).
He is also called ‘En no Gyoja’ who was the originator of Shugendo (修験道).

Afterwards, this temple went to ruin, but it was reconstructed in 791 of the Nara period (奈良時代) by Saicho (最澄) who was an initiator of the Tendai sect (天台宗).

Inside the precincts of this temple, there is a famous cherry tree called ‘Saigyo-Zakura (西行桜)’ which was planted by Saigyo (西行).
(He was a famous monk and poet during the period between the late Heian period (平安時代) and the Kamakura period (鎌倉時代).)

Because he was a very superior poet, even Basho MATSUO (松尾芭蕉) who was one of the greatest haiku (俳句) poets in Japan respected him.

And, this temple is the stage of a Noh play which is called ‘Saigyo-zakura (西行桜)’ written by Zeami (世阿弥).

The content of ‘Saigyo-zakura (西行桜)’ is the following stories.

From way back, when it was spring, the cherry tree of this temple which was planted by Saigyo bloomed a beautiful flower.
Therefore many people came to this temple for the cherry blossom viewing.

However, a certain year, Saigyo had his reasons and prohibits the cherry blossom viewing.
Probably he must have wanted to see a flower alone.

However, unfortunately, many people visited the temple in that year, too.
Saigyo who was enjoying the cherry blossoms invited people because he couldn’t turn away the visitors who traveled great distances.

Therefore, Saigyo composed a following poem, expressing that the beauty of the cherry blossoms attracts people, and that is the sin of the flowers.

「花見にと 群れつつ人の 来るのみぞ あたら桜の 咎(とが)にはありける」

Then, the spirit of the old cherry tree appears in his dream and asked him.

“What do you mean by the sin of the cherry blossoms?”
The spirit said successively, “The cherry blossoms just bloom and there is no reason to blame.”
And finally, the spirit admonishes Saigyo, said “It is human mind which creates the feeling of troublesome.

The spirit of the old cherry tree takes him to some places famous for beautiful cherry blossoms and performs a dance.

In the meantime, Saigyo awoke from his dream.

A lesson of this is ‘It’s no use taking one’s anger out on something else.’.

2.About Shoji-ji

Open:9:00~17:00
Admission Fee:400 yen (Adult), 300 yen (Junior high school / high school student), 200 yen (Elementary school student)
Address:1194, Oharano Minamikasugacho, Nishikyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 610-1153, Japan
Phone Number:+81-75-331-0601
Foundation:679
Founder:EN no Ozunu (役小角)
Sect:Tendai sect (天台宗)
Principal image:Yakushi Nyorai (薬師如来:Bhaisajyaguru)

Shoji-ji (勝持寺) is a Tendai Sect (天台宗) Buddhist temple located in Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto City.
Its mountain name, which is the title prefixed to the name of a Buddhist temple, is ‘Oshioyama (小塩山)’.
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It is said that Shoji-ji was founded in 679 of the Asuka period (飛鳥時代) by EN no Ozunu (役小角).
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This temple is related to Saigyo (西行) who was a famous monk and poet during the period between the late Heian period (平安時代) and the Kamakura period (鎌倉時代).
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It is situated a southwestern suburb of Kyoto, adjacent to Oharano-jinja (大原野神社) which is famous for autumn leaves.
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By the way, this temple is also famous for autumn leaves.
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An admission fee is 400 yen (Adult).
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Next, let’s see the highlights of Shoji-ji!!
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3.Information for visitors

・Photography and video recording are prohibited inside the building of this temple.

・Tripods and stepladders are also prohibited in this temple.

・If we visit it in February, a reservation is necessary. (+81-75-331-0601 : Only available in Japanese)

・The worship method of a Shinto shrine and a Buddhist temple, please refer to the following article.

Let’s follow a rule.

4.The highlights of Shoji-ji

「*印」のついている見どころは有料エリアです。(This seal (*) is a pay area.)

仁王門:Nio-mon (Deva) gate

This is the Nio-mon (Deva) gate which was built in the Heian period (平安時代).
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Because this gate is the only building in this temple which was escaped from the Onin War (応仁の乱), it is the oldest building in this temple.
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木造金剛力士立像(重要文化財):Wooden Standing Statue of Kongo Rishiki (Important Cultural Property)

Wooden standing statues of Kongo Rishiki which were made of 1285 in the Kamakura period (鎌倉時代) is enshrined on both sides of the Nio-mon gate.
These statues have been designated as important cultural property.shojiji-14

参道:Approach to the temple

Because it is surrounded by nature, the approach to this temple is very tastefull.
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勝持寺子院跡:Historic site of sub-temple of Shoji-ji

In the old days, this temple had many sub temples.
Now, the stone wall of these sub temples are left beside an approach to a temple.
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南門:Minami-mon gate (South gate)

This is the Minami-mon gate (South gate) which has the role as the entrance gate of this temple.
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東門:Higashi-mon gate (East gate)

This is the Higashi-mon gate (East gate) which is unopened now.
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書院*:Shoin (Study hall)*

This is the Shoin (Study hall) which has the role as the reception desk of this temple.
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瑠璃光殿*:Ruriko-den hall*

This is the Ruriko-den hall which has the role as the treasure storehouse of this temple.
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Wooden seated statue of Yakushi Nyorai (Bhaisajyaguru) which is the principal image designated as an important cultural property is worshiped in this building.
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阿弥陀堂*:Amida-do hall*

This is the Amida-do hall which has the role as the mail hall of this temple.
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不動堂*:Fudo-do hall*

This is the Fudo-do hall.
The Acala (不動明王) which is the principal image of this hall is carved on the rock face of the back of the building.
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It is said that Kukai (空海) who is an initiator of the Shingon Buddhism (真言宗) carved this Acala image for people having the disease of eyes.
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鏡石*:Kagami-ishi (stone)*

This is the Kagami-ishi (stone).
It is said that Saigyo (西行) sat down to this stone to become a priest and shaved a head.
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瀬和井の泉*:Segai-no-izumi (spring water)*

This is a spring water which is called ‘Segai-no-izumi.’
This spring water is the Utamakura (歌枕) of this locale.
(Utamakura is a rhetorical concept in Japanese poetry.)
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鐘楼堂*:Shoro (bell tower)*

This is the Shoro (bell tower).
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魚籃観音*:Gyoran Kannon*

This is the Gyoran Kannon.
Because this Kannon holds a basket to put a fish in in a hand, he is said to be God of the fishery.
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西行桜*:Saigyo-zakura (cherry tree)*

This is the Saigyo-zakura (cherry tree) which was planted by Saigyo (西行), the symbol of this temple.
The current cherry tree is the third generation.
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When the spring has come, the beautiful cherry blossoms bloom and many people come to see the flowers.
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引用(citation):http://k-kabegami.com/hananotera/10.html

冴野の沼*:Saeno-no-numa (pond)*

This is the Saeno-no-numa (pond).
This pond is also the Utamakura (歌枕) of this local.
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5.The videos/photos of Shoji-ji

■YouTube:勝持寺の落葉:Shoji-ji’s fallen leaves 

■Flickr:勝持寺:Shoji-ji (20161209)

勝持寺:Shoji-ji (20161209)

6.The Goshuin (the stamp of shrine or temple) of Shoji-ji

The goshuin of this temple is “Yakushi Nyorai (薬師如来)” which is the principal image of this temple.
We can get this goshuin in the Shoin (Study hall). (300 yen)
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7.How to get to Shoji-ji

How to get to Shoji-ji is as follows.

The nearest station of Shoji-ji is “Hankyu Higashi-Muko Station” or “JR Mukomachi Station”.

  Timetable and Route Search

■Route Example (from Osaka Station to Hankyu Higashi-Muko Station)
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■Route Example (from Namba Station to Hankyu Higashi-Muko Station)
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■Route Example (from Kyoto Station to JR Mukomachi Station)
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■Hankyu Higashi-Muko Station→Minami kasugacho bus stop

We go by bus from Hankyu Higashi-Muko Sta. to Shoji-ji.
(There is more than 6 km from the station to the destination.)
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■Minami kasugacho bus stop→Shoji-ji

It is about 20-minute walk from the bus stop to the destination.
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①When you get on a bus from Hankyu Higashi-Muko Station

  Timetable and Route Search of bus

[Timetable]Route No.63・65

Bus company:Hankyu Bus
Routes/Destination:No.63・65[for Minami kasugacho・Rakusai Bus Terminal]
Boarding bus stop:Hankyu Higashimuko[Bus stop No.1]
Alighting bus stop:Minami kasugacho
Bus fare:280 yen
Time required:About 20 min

①When you get on a bus from JR Mukomachi Station

  Timetable and Route Search of bus

[Timetable]Route No.63・65

Bus company:Hankyu Bus
Routes/Destination:No.63・65[for Minami kasugacho・Rakusai Bus Terminal]
Boarding bus stop:JR Mukomachi[Bus stop No.2]
Alighting bus stop:Minami kasugacho
Bus fare:280 yen
Time required:About 25 min

■When you take a taxi

From Hankyu Higashi-Muko Station:2,290 yen ~ 2,720 yen (about 10 minutes)
From JR Mukomachi Station:2,290 yen ~ 2,800 yen (about 10 minutes)
From Kyoto Station:4,370 yen ~ 5,360 yen (about 25 minutes)

■Let’s show a taxi driver the following phrase.
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■If you want to call a taxi, let’s show the following phrase.
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[タクシー配車連絡先(Phone number of taxi dispatch) : Hankyu Higashi-Muko Station]

8.Hotel search & reservation around Shoji-ji

How did you like it?

Please try to go to this temple.

Have a nice trip! ( *´艸`)

<<Let’s search the sightseeing information of Japan, Kansai on ‘Japan’s Travel Manual‘!!>>

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