Shuzen-ji Temple

An ancient temple associated with Yoriie Minamoto which gave rise to the name for Shuzen-ji Onsen

Shuzen-ji is a temple boasting a history of over 1200 years whose establishment is attributed to Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi. Also famous as a place for the autumn colors, the Japanese garden that has been called the Finest Garden of the Tokai during the fall season is open for a limited time.
Business Hours
Saturday ( 12:0 AM ~ 12:0 AM )
Sunday ( 12:0 AM ~ 12:0 AM )
Weekdays ( 12:0 AM ~ 12:0 AM )

24 hours a day, 365 days a year Opening times of the Houmotsu-den: April-September 8:30am-4:30pm (on all other days, up to 4:00pm)
Shuzenji 964 Shuzenji Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture
(0558) 72-0053


The symbolic 1200-year-old Shuzen-ji Temple

Shuzen-ji is located in the middle of an onsen area, and in fact, it gave rise to Shuzen-ji Onsen. In the year 807 AD during the early Heian Era, it is said that Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi founded the temple. The ancient Shuzen-ji boasts a history of over 1200 years, but although it had been initially a temple of Kobo Daishi’s Shingon sect, the temple changed to Rinzai teachings during the Kamakura Era. This phase lasted for well over 2 centuries but afterwards it converted to Soto Buddhism. These changes are attributed to the transfer of political power from the noble classes of the Heian Era to the samurai families of the Kamakura Era, and with the resulting rise in worshipers of Zen Buddhism which suited samurai culture.

At the temple repository, there are many exhibits of valuable artifacts related to the Kamakura shogunate

Shuzen-ji is also known as the place where the younger brother of Yoritomo Minamoto, Noriyori, and Yoritomo’s son, Yoriie, who had been the 2nd shogun, were exiled and later killed. Inside the temple repository, the Houmotsu-den, which is adjacent to the temple grounds, valuable artifacts from the Kamakura shogunate are stored and exhibited such as the writings of Masako Hojo, the wife of Yoritomo, Yoriie’s battle flag and Noriyori’s harness. Among these artifacts is the lacquered death mask of Yoriie. It is said that the mask was the inspiration for Kido Okamoto’s new kabuki masterpiece, the Tale of Shuzen-ji Temple. As well, the temple’s principal image of Dainichi Nyorai which has been nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property along with other esoteric Buddhist implements from the Heian Era are on display. You will want to see these exhibits during your tour of Shuzen-ji Temple.

Enjoy the beautiful autumn leaves at the garden which is open for a limited time

The garden at Shuzen-ji Temple was revered by the Imperial Crown Prince who will would later become the Emperor Taisho so that it was labeled as the Finest Garden of the Tokai. Usually, entry into the garden isn’t allowed, but it is open for a limited time when the fall season arrives. The autumn leaves are at their peak at around late November, and with the scarlet trees and the colorful carp swimming elegantly, you can full enjoy Japanesque scenery to your heart’s content.

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