Yusanji is a temple of the Chizan sect of the Shingon sect located in the Muramatsu neighborhood of Fukuroi City, Shizuoka Prefecture, and was built in the year 701 with a history of more than 1300 years, it has been known as the sacred mountain of the eyes since the 8th century . And it is also known as a place famous for autumn leaves.
Later, in the first year of the Tenpyo Shoho era (749), Emperor Koken prayed for recovery from his eye disease and when he washed his eyes with water from the Ruri Falls, his eyes recovered completely, so this temple was designated as Chogan Temple- ji.
Since then, it has been especially worshiped as a temple to protect the eyes and cure eye diseases.
It was destroyed by military bombardment in 1572. Reconstruction of the three-story pagoda began in 1574, but construction took many years and the roof was only erected in 1611. A visit to this wonderful temple will take you through deep forests, feel the atmosphere of a deep mountain valley and admire the miraculous Ruri Waterfall and the imposing three-story pagoda.
The entrance Sanmon gate was originally the main gate of Kakegawa Castle. It was built in 1659 by Lord Naoyoshi II, and in 1873, when the castle was abolished, Ota Bitchu no Kami, the lord of the castle, donated it in gratitude for his recovery from his eye disease.
The castle gate, which has two layers of roof at the front and back, is considered a rare structure even in Japan. The shachihoko that decorates the top of the roof is considered a masterpiece of the early Edo period and has been designated as a important national cultural asset. In 1971, the gate was restored and repaired.
Emperor Koken is said to have suffered from an eye disease, and after praying for blessings at the small Ruri Waterfall that flows through the temple grounds and washing his eyes with this sacred water, he was completely cured of his illness. For this reason, the mountain received an imperial charter from Emperor Koken and became a Chogan-ji Temple.
Since then, it has been highly respected by successive emperors and other feudal lords, and many buildings still remain within the precinct that were donated as thanks for curing eye diseases. Even today, it is deeply worshiped by people as a temple that enshrines the Buddha who protects the eyes, or the Buddha who cures mental illnesses and opens the eyes of the mind with peace of mind and body.
The three-story pagoda was built in 1190 by Minamoto no Yoritomo as thanks for being cured of his eye disease.
It was destroyed by military fire during the Sengoku period and was rebuilt from the Azuchi-Momoyama period to the beginning of the Edo period.
It well represents the characteristics of the Momoyama period, such as the magnificent wood splitting, the powerful sorin, the beautiful curvature of the roof, and the intricate masugumi that supports the roof. It is considered one of the three famous Azuchi pagodas.
The height of the pagoda is approximately 23 meters, and the upper layer is built in the Zen Buddhism style and the Big Buddha style, while the middle and lower floors are built in the Japanese style.
The tower is designed to get thinner as it rises to the top, making it a beautiful tower with a feeling of stability.
Inside, the Vajra Dainichi Nyorai created by Kobo Daishi is enshrined. All disassembly and repairs were carried out in 1967 and the restoration was completed in 1969.
Yakushi Main Hall
In the main hall, the image of Yakushi Nyorai was consecrated, and Gunzenbo Daigongen, the guardian deity of the mountain.
It is said to have been donated along with the three-story pagoda by Minamoto no Yoritomo in 1190 as a thank you for curing his eye disease, and his favorite retainer, Suketsune Kudo, served as construction magistrate.
Later, in 1738, Tokugawa Yoshimune is said to have rebuilt the main hall as a token of gratitude for his recovery from illness. After being designated as an important cultural asset by the city government as a valuable building from the mid-Edo period, it was repaired in 1971 under the direction of the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
Statue of Zen Master Eisai
It is said that Zen Master Eisai brought tea from China to Japan. Thus, his statue was erected in 1950 to praise the Zen master’s achievements and pray for the prosperity of the tea industry, a specialty of Shizuoka Prefecture.
The height of the pedestal is approximately 10 meters, making it one of the largest statues of Zen masters in Japan.
In his right hand he holds a “kissawyojoki”, which describes the methods and effects of tea preparation, and in his left he holds tea seeds.
Mizuko Jizo Statue
This is a merciful Jizo that guides the souls of children who have passed away due to sudden accidents or illnesses to paradise.
Rokkakudo was donated by Yugo Sato and his wife Aiko, who were active in the world of Japanese calligraphy. Rokkakudo was built by Yaei Kawarazaki, a shrine carpenter.
Autumn Leaves Season
The temple is famous for the autumn leaves that occur every year in the month of November, as you pass through the entrance gate you will be mesmerized by the colorful autumn leaves that transform the interior of the temple into a nostalgic scene.
- Tourist Attraction: Yusanji Temple.
- Location: Fukuroi, Shizuoka.
- Opening hours: from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
- Autumn Leaf Period: Early November to early December (start date may vary depending on weather).
- Free entrance.
- WC: Available.
- Parking: Available, Free (capacity 100 vehicles).
Shizuoka Fukuroi Muramatsu 1