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Mt. Seiryu Kichijoji Temple

Flowers Bloom Every Season and Clear Streams Flow from Waterfalls at This Ancient Temple

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Temple

Kichijoji Temple is a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect located in Gunma Prefecture’s village of Kawaba. It is also known as “Hanadera,” or “flower temple.”
After passing through the irimoya (hip-and-gable) roofed temple gate, before you stands the majestic main hall. The garden, a Japanese rock garden known as “Garyu (Reclining Dragon) Garden,” is designed so as to enclose and surround the hall, and its sophisticated and beautiful design depicts a dragon scaling a waterfall. Waterfalls flow from the sides and back of the temple, offering three different perspectives of the beautiful scenery.

Within the main hall is a location where you can enjoy matcha tea and Japanese sweets, a great place to relax while looking out over the garden. The heart-shaped “Inome Window” on the north side of the room is another eye-catching point – although the window is a traditional Japanees design, it has a great modern feel to it, and it has become popular as a location to take photos of the garden framed with a heart shape to upload on social media.

During spring and summer the contrast between the flowers and greenery is stunning; during autumn the leaves are a sight to behold; and the snowy landscape in the winter is silent and beautiful. The scenery changes with the seasons, always a fresh sight even for returning visitors.

Highlights

  • The temple grounds change with the seasons, and the autumn leaves and gingko trees are particularly beautiful.
  • There are multiple waterfalls in the garden, including the “Seiryu Waterfall” and “Shoryu Waterfall.”
  • There are many areas that make for great photos for social media, such as the heart-shaped window “Inome Window.”
  • First established in 1339, the temple conveys the flow of history across time and space.
  • A seated statue of Shaka Nyorai (Gautama Buddha), designated as an Important Cultural Property, is enshrined in Shaka-do Hall.

Photos

  • The Japanese rock garden paired with autumn leaves is a beautiful sight to behold

    The Japanese rock garden paired with autumn leaves is a beautiful sight to behold

  • Japanese primroses bloom in the spring (early May through mid-June)

    Japanese primroses bloom in the spring (early May through mid-June)

  • Heart-shaped “Inome Window”

    Heart-shaped “Inome Window”

  • Enjoy seasonal Japanese sweets with matcha in the temple

    Enjoy seasonal Japanese sweets with matcha in the temple

  • There are also cute statues of the Six Ksitigarbhas within the temple grounds

    There are also cute statues of the Six Ksitigarbhas within the temple grounds

Reviews

1
  • Less Than

    寺內種植了上百種花卉,除了冬天以外都可以欣賞到各種花卉的綻放,尤其特喜歡寺內帶著濃濃禪意的日式庭園。

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Details

Name in Japanese
青龍山 吉祥寺
Postal Code
378-0115
Address
860 Monzen, Kawabamura, Tonegun, Gunma
Telephone
0278-52-2434
Admission
Adults 500 yen; elementary, junior high, and high school students 250 yen
Hours
9:00am-5:00pm (last admission at 4:30pm)
※Hours are subject to change depending on the season and weather.
Access
(1) About 30 minutes by bus from the JR Joetsu Line’s Numata Station
(2) About a 10-minute drive from the Numata Interchange off the Kan-Etsu Expressway
Official Website
Official Website (Japanese)