Shuzen-ji Temple, Okunoin

The place of practice for Kobo Daishi, it is also a power spot for those in the know

View Gallery
Shuzen-ji’s Okunoin includes places such as Aun-no-Taki Falls where Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi practiced. Around the area, there is the large park known as Aji-en where you can enjoy the four seasons through the trees that highlight cherry blossoms and fall leaves.
Okunoin, 2940-1 Shuzenji Izu-shi, Shizuoka-ken
(0558) 72-0053

Photos & Videos

View Gallery


The main dojo of Shuzen-ji Temple where a young Kobo Daishi practiced

Formerly known as Katsuradani Yamadera (Mountain Temple), a young monk Kukai (Kobo Daishi) was said to have studied at Shuzen-ji’s Okunoin before he settled down at Mount Koya. Also known as Shogaku-in, it is located about 5km west of Shuzen-ji in Yubune Village. Going up from the main hall via the steps to the top of the cliff, there is Aun-no-Taki Falls. You can view a statue of Kobo Daishi which is covered in the spray of the waterfall and the practice stone known as Gomadan. Although the volume of water flowing over the falls has decreased, the glorious atmosphere that evokes those days is still going strong. It is popular as a power spot for those who know about it. The bedrock that surrounds Aun-no-Taki, Karigome-no-Iwaya, is supposedly the place where Kobo Daishi trapped an evil spirit, Tenmacho, who had invaded the Okunoin area. Afterwards, it is said that Buddhism spread around the world and there was calm in the nation.

The annual Star Festival to pray for good health

Every year at the winter solstice, the Star Festival is held to sweep away the past year’s calamities and to pray for good fortune in the new year. The hall is filled with visitors carrying family clothes bundled in a furoshiki wrapping cloth. The Gomadan stone which has been brought to the center is the place where the Shuzen-ji Goma is held, a ritual that has been brought down by generations of chief priests. Monks bring the bundles of clothing and hold them over a fire. When these clothes are worn again, the new year will bring good luck and health. The current Shuzen-ji follows the Soto school of Zen Buddhism, but Kobo Daishi had originally established the temple as one of the Shingon sect. For that reason, an esoteric Buddhism is taught now, regardless of sect. Participation is free (although a goma blessing requires a fee), and there are also treats such as amazake and soy sauce-flavored vegetables provided by local residents.

read more

Plan your trip to shizuoka

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.

Request a Tour