The five-story pagoda designed with the heart and soul of two generations of carpenters
Myosen-ji’s five-story pagoda was built in the latter half of the Edo Era and is one of only 22 such precious structures to survive in the country. This pagoda was completed in 30 years by father-and-son temple carpenters from the Mozaemon family. At a height of 24.11m with each side measuring 3.6m, this Edo Era pagoda is notable for every floor from bottom to top basically having the same dimensions with a beautiful carving of an elaborately-designed dragon’s head. It is believed that the pagoda was built to resemble a similar splendid structure in Tosho-gu Shrine in Nikko, and has been designated as a National Important Cultural Property.
Tour inside the tranquil and elegant temple grounds and view the cultural properties
Besides the five-story pagoda, there are many valuable cultural properties surviving within the temple grounds. Numerous beautiful examples of architecture which should be seen abound such as the oldest structure in the temple, the Niomon Gate built in 1677; the largest building on Sado Island, the Hondo main hall; the splendid Kuri temple kitchen with its 15.5m pillars; and the beautiful Soshi-do Hall with its connecting arched passageway. In the Japanese garden pond, there are summer blossoms of water lily which bring color to the peaceful temple.
An ancient temple graveyard where historical figures of Sado sleep
In the cemetery behind the Hozo repository, the gravestones that dot the gentle slope seem to melt into the scenery of the surrounding cedar forest. The graves of famous figures in the history of Sado Island can be seen here with the oldest being the grave for the founder of Myosen-ji, Abutsubonittoku Shonin. Initially serving under Emperor Juntoku, he had been exiled along with the emperor to Sado Island where he continued to serve him until the emperor’s death after which he became a Buddhist monk and subsequently served as an apprentice under the Nichiren monks who had also been exiled to Sado. Furthermore, you can also view the grave of Suketomo Hino, the chief retainer of Emperor Daigo, who was also exiled to the island for planning the overthrow of the Kamakura shogunate.