Temples & Shrines: Shokokuji
Shokokuji Temple 相国寺
Shokokuji is the second of the five leading Rinzai Zen temples in Kyoto that were built during the medieval period. It once housed a collection of well-known panel paintings, which now can be seen at a museum on the grounds that opened in 1984.
Shokokuji is a living temple, without the hordes of tourists that plague other sites, and a tranquil spot close to the subway and river.
Shokokuji Temple was built by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408). Like many of Kyoto's treasures, however, the temple complex was destroyed by fire and rebuilt many times. In 1788 almost all of the main temples on the grounds were completely burnt to the ground, leaving only the Dharma Hall and the Imperial Gate. At present, there are 13 buildings at the complex.
Today it is the main temple of the Rinzai sect, Shokokuji School. Yoshimitsu originally created an office at Shokokuji whose function was to oversee all Zen temples--and for the most part those powers remain to this day.
Shokokuji has a beautiful collection of treasures and cultural assets, which are displayed in the Shotenkaku Museum.
Fee: 600 yen for adults Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (enter by 4:00 p.m.).
Shokokuji Temple Access
From Imadegawa Station on the Karasuma subway line, Shokokuji Temple is a 3-5 minute walk. From Keihan Demachiyanagi Station, Shokokuji Temple is a 15-minute walk. Buses stop at Doshisha-mae.
By bicycle to the temple along Imadegawa.
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