Located in Ayabe City next to the Yura-gawa River, Shoreki-ji Temple was built in the year 942. The temple enshrines a statue of the bodhisattva Kannon carved by the temple’s founder, Kuya, a famous priest in the Heian era (794-1185). The statue can only be seen by the public every 33 years. Some of the temple's other treasures include a Thousand-Armed Kannon statue (a designated cultural property of Ayabe City) and a nirvana painting (an Important Cultural Property).
The dry rock garden, which was built in the middle of the Edo period (1603-1868), is a designated scenic spot in Kyoto Prefecture. There are annually flowering plants such as azaleas and bushclover that color the garden throughout the seasons, as well as many ancient trees, including a zelkova tree selected as one of the ten famous trees of Ayabe City.
Shoreki-ji Temple also provides a unique, all-inclusiv temple-stay experience', giving visitors the chance to live in a hundred-year-old tatami room (individuals or groups of a maximum of 6). The experience also includes meals, and for dinner, guests can choose between local specialties (high quality chicken from a local farm) and the traditional vegetarian course meals of Buddhist monks.
Highlights include the various experiences you can try out at the temple by making a reservation in advance. These include meditation in the bamboo grotto, sutra writing, sutra recitation, ablution, trying out Buddhist music instruments, wearing priest’s clothing, plating your own food Japanese style, and last but not least, drawing Goshuin inscriptions. Other activities include baking pizza in the hand-made oven, and season-limited activities such as nagashi-soumen (noodles eaten by sending them down flowing water in a bamboo chute) and canoeing (must have at least 4 people, 4,000 yen per capita/ 2 hours).
- 45 Donomae, Teramachi, Ayabe City, Kyoto Prefecture
- Train: From Ayabe Station on the JR Sanin line, take a taxi for 5 minutes, or walk 30 minutes.
Bus: From Ayabe Station on the JR Sanin Line, take the Ayabus (Shiga Nanboku line) and get off at "Omoto Choseiden-mae" bus stop and walk for 5 minutes.
Car: 10 minutes from Maizuru Wakasa Expressway, Ayabe Interchange exit.
10 minutes from Kyoto Jukan Expressway, Kyotanba-wachi Interchange exit.
- Check-in/Check-out Times
- 3:00 p.m. / 10:00 a.m.
- Foreign Language Support
- English available