Temple established by a Christian feudal lord in 1535
You may be surprised that this temple was established by a Christian feudal lord, Otomo Sorin, in 1535 as his Bodai-ji－a Japanese Buddhism temple that takes care of a family’s dead, buries them and performs ceremonies in their soul’s favor (Referenced Japanese dictionary “Iwanami Kojien”). In Zuiho-in Temple (Zuihoin), there are several Christian landmarks including a garden with a crucifix made of stone, Christian lanterns. The gardens were made by Mirei Shigemori, who was one of the most famous landscape gardeners in 1961, in commemoration of 400 years anniversary of foundation. Otomo Sorin, or his Christian name Don Francisco, worked very hard as a missionary for his followers in the Sengoku period. Though Christianity has never been taught at Zuiho-in Temple, this aspect of the life of its founding patron is both honored and respected as a part of Otomo’s legacy.
This garden was made in the image of the stormy waves beating against the rocks. It also expresses the greatness of Mother Nature. In the back of the garden, there is an area of moss and stone which represents a calm inlet in the ocean. The name of this garden came from the word of Zen.
At first glance, you may not be able to see the crucifix. However, if you look at the garden with your back to the lantern, the shape of the crucifix emerges. There are seven stones that make this cross. The buried “Kakure Kirishitan” (Hidden Christian) statue is a poignant reminder of the two hundred years when Christianity was banned in Japan.
Experience Zazen Zen meditation
In Zuiho-in Temple, you can experience Zazen, Zen meditation. The chief priest or temple staff will take you to the main hall and explain how it will be done and what you should do (only in Japanese or basic English). Please make a reservation before you visit the temple.
Enjoy Matcha Green Tea
If you would like to enjoy matcha green tea at this temple, please pay the fee at the entrance. It’s a great experience to try the matcha green tea at this historical temple. You may be served matcha green tea with a Japanese sweet.
2.8 experience3.5 access2.0 photogenic3.0
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Zuiho-in Temple (inside of Daitoku-ji Temple) / 瑞峯院
|Category||Temples & Shrines, Japanese Gardens|
|Address||81, Murasakino Daitokujicho, Kita-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 603-8231|
|Directions||2-minute walk from city bus Daitokuji-mae stop getting off|
|Open Hours||9am - 5pm|
|Reservations||Please make a reservation if you would like to experience Zazen, Zen meditation and matcha green tea.|
High school students and over ￥400 Junior high school students and under ￥300 *Group discounts are available for 30 or more people Matcha green tea ￥400 Zazen Zen meditation and matcha green tea ￥1,500
|Credit cards||Not accepted|
English brochures are available at the entrance. Staff only speak Japanese and basic English.
|Information||Japanese and English|
|Lanuages spoken||Japanese and basic English|