Located in Ujitawara in Kyoto, Shoju-in Temple was built around 800 years ago, and belongs to the Koyasan Shingonshu sect of Buddhism. According to records, during the Sengoku (1467-1615) and Edo periods (1603-1868) Shoju-in Temple caught fire twice, and was rebuilt in 1596 by the monk Yuin.
The temple's principal image, an eleven-faced Kannon statue, is a designated local cultural property, and is shown to the public only once every 50 years. Apart from the Kannon statue, there is a sitting statue of the Buddhist minor deity Acala made by Kaikei, one of the Kamakura period's (1192-1333) representative Japanese sculptors of Buddhist statues. This image is also an Important Cultural Property.
There are over 2,000 wind chimes in the temple in the summer, and every year there is a Wind Chime Festival from July 1st to September 18th. In the side hall there is a heart-shaped window from which the pink cherry blossoms, the green grass of summer, the red autumn leaves, and the white snow of winter can be seen.
The heart shape is a traditional pattern used in Japan for fortunes and blessings, so this window is known as the "Window of Happiness," and always attracts many visitors. On the ceilings of the side hall there are 160 different pictures of flowers and Japanese scenery, which creates some beautiful scenery overhead. Shoju-in Temple also offers activities such as bracelet-beading, sutra-writing, Buddha-sketching, and yoga classes (reservations required).
- 149 Kawakami, Okuyamada, Ujitawara-cho, Tsuzuki District, Kyoto Prefecture
- Train : From Uji Station on the Keihan Uji Line or the JR Nara Line, or from Shintanabe Station on the Kintetsu Kyoto Line, take Kyoto Keihan Bus heading towards "Ichumae/Ryokuenzaka/Kogyodanchi." Get off at "Ichumae" bus stop, and either 1)transfer to a community bus, ride to "Okuyamada" bus stop, and walk for 10 minutes, or 2)take a taxi for 10 minutes from "Ichumae" bus stop.
You can also take a 30-minute taxi ride from Uji Station (Keihan or JR Nara) or Shintanabe Station (Kintetsu Kyoto).
Car: From Osaka, take Meishin Highway to Oyamazaki Junction, change to the Keiji By-Pass, get off at Ujinishi Interchange and continue for 30 minutes. Alternatively, take Daini Keihan Road, get off at Hirakata Gakken Interchange and continue for 40 minutes.
*Community buses can only take 13 people at a time, and local residents have priority.
*During the Wind Chime Festival season (7/1 - 9/18), there will be shuttle buses from Keihan Uji Station and Ichumae Bus Stop to Shoju-in Temple available every Monday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, on holidays, and every day during the Obon holidays (8/13 - 8/15).
*Please check the bus schedules here: http://shoujuin.boo.jp/?page_id=8
- Business Hours
- 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. in the winter season from November to March)
Closed: 12/26 - 1/4, 8/17 and the 3rd Sunday of April (may vary depending on other events)
- Space for regular-sized vehicles: 60 (Price: Normally 200 yen per group, 300 yen per group during the Wind Chime Festival (Those who visit alone must normally pay 100 yen, and 200 yen during the Wind Chime Festival)
*Large vehicles must use the Kaikan space nearby. Please contact Shoju-in Temple beforehand.