Mt. Seiryu Kichijoji Temple
Flowers Bloom Every Season and Clear Streams Flow from Waterfalls at This Ancient 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.
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.
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- Name in Japanese
- 青龍山 吉祥寺
- Postal Code
- 860 Monzen, Kawabamura, Tonegun, Gunma
- Adults 500 yen; elementary, junior high, and high school students 250 yen
9:00am-5:00pm (last admission at 4:30pm)
※Hours are subject to change depending on the season and weather.
(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)