Sunday, September 25, 2011
The Shuzenji temple in the hot spring area of the same name in The Izu peninsula is a temple built in 807. Originally a Buddhist temple, converted to Rinzai sect in 1250, the current temple was rebuilt in 1883.
The second shogun Minamoto Yoriie was exiled to this temple, and later murdered here in 1204. Famous Japanese writers Natsume Sozeki, Okamoto Kido and Shimaki Kensaku, wrote stories inspired by the temple after visiting.
The temple entrance, close to the famous Tokko-no-yu hot spring, is at the center of the city and thus visitors in Yukatas are a common view at the temple gate.
Trees and a small hill beautifully frame the main hall, there is also small bamboo forest located next to the bell tower.
A dozen small stone statues of monks are lined up at the entrance of one of the hall. The temple used to be a monastery and housed hundreds of monks, currently no monks live at the premises.