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May. 01, 2020 UPDATE
Zuiho-in Temple (inside of Daitoku-ji Temple) - 瑞峯院 -
Traveler Friendly
English brochures are available at the entrance. Staff only speak Japanese and basic English.
Information
Japanese and English
Languages spoken
Japanese and basic English
1478 12 7.0 1 reviews
May. 01, 2020 UPDATE

Zuiho-in Temple (inside of Daitoku-ji Temple)

- 瑞峯院 -
Traveler Friendly
English brochures are available at the entrance. Staff only speak Japanese and basic English.
Information
Japanese and English
Languages spoken
Japanese and basic English
1478 12 7.0 1 reviews
Story & Recommendation
Zuiho-in Temple – A Temple founded by a Christian lord in 1535
You may be surprised to hear Zuiho-in Temple was founded by a Christian feudal lord, Otomo Sorin, in 1535 as his Bodai-ji - a Japanese Buddhist temple that takes care of a family’s dead, buries them and performs blessings on their souls.
In Zuiho-in Temple, there remain several vestiges of the temple’s link to Christianity, including a garden with a stone crucifix and Christian lanterns.
The temple’s gardens were designed by Mirei Shigemori – one of the most famous landscapes of the 1960s – in commemoration of the 400 year anniversary of the temple’s founding.
Otomo Sorin, or his Christian name Don Francisco, worked very hard as a missionary in the Sengoku period. Though Christianity has never been taught at Zuiho-in Temple, this aspect of its founder’s life is both honored and respected as a part of his legacy.
1Highlight
Dokuzatei Garden
Dokuzatei Garden
This garden was designed in the image of stormy waves crashing against rocks. It also expresses the immense power 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 teachings of Zen Buddhism.
2Highlight
Kanmintei Garden
Kanmintei Garden
At first glance, this garden’s crucifix may seem hidden from you. However, if you look at the garden with your back to the lantern, seven stones line up to form the shape of a crucifix. The buried “Kakure Kirishitan” (Hidden Christians) statue also serves as a poignant reminder of the two hundred years of persecution that Japanese Christians faced when the religion was banned in Japan.
3Good Experiences
Experience Zazen Zen meditation
Experience Zazen Zen Meditation
At Zuiho-in Temple, you can experience Zazen Zen meditation. The chief priest or a member of the temple staff will take you to the main hall where they explain how the session will unfold and tell you what to do. Please make a reservation in advance and note that the sessions are only offered in Japanese or basic English.
4Good Experiences
Enjoy Matcha Green Tea
Enjoy Matcha Green Tea
At Zuiho-in Temple, you can enjoy matcha green tea inside the walls of the historic temple’s buildings. If you would like to partake, please pay in advance at the entrance. Your matcha green tea may be served with a traditional Japanese sweet.
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