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Temple Spots in Niigata Area

  • Rinsenji Temple
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    4.0
    44 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Jouetsushi Nakamonzen 1-1-1
    Rinsenji Temple is a temple of the Soto sect located in Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture. Uesugi Kenshin, a military commander during the Sengoku (Warring States) period, spent time and studied here as child between the ages of 7 and 14. The temple was founded in 1497 by Kenshin’s grandfather, Nagao Yoshikage, as a memorial to his late father, following which the temple became a family temple for both Nagao and Uesugi. The temple grounds are home to a splendid main gate, said to have been moved from the back gate of Kasugayama Castle. Visitors will also find the graves of the Uesugi family and memorial tower, and the Fureashi Kannon statue, said to make strong legs when touched with the feet.

    Rinsen-ji is tucked away in the forest at the base of the hill below Kasugayama Shrine, and can be explored for a small fee. The temple has an impressive wooden mon (gate), behind which is a lovely...

  • Banjindo
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    4.0
    9 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Kashiwazakishi Banjin 2-10-42
    Banjindo is an external Buddha hall of Nichirenshu Myoko Temple located on a hill overlooking the Sea of Japan in Kashiwazaki City, Niigata Prefecture. It is said that the Buddhist priest, Nichiren, prayed here in 1274 for the return of 30 guardian deities. From the temple grounds visitors can see the city area, the magnificent Sea of Japan, the mountains of Yahiko, and Sado Island. The view from here of the setting sun is especially memorable. It is also a popular temple to visit during the New Year. The current temple was rebuilt after the original burned down in the Meiji period. The carving on the wall of the main hall is especially worth a look.

    番神岬高台にあり、彫刻や日蓮上人像も近くにあります。お参りに中に入ると、職員らしき方が丁寧に迎えてくれた。静かな場所にあり、景色も良く落ち着きたいならまた来ます。

  • Untouan Temple
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    4.0
    43 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Untou 660
    Untouan is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Soto School that is situated in the foothills of Mt. Kinjo, in the Unto district of Minamiuonuma City. It was founded by Uesugi Norizane in the Muromachi period, and rebuilt in 1707. Tradition has it that text from the Lotus Sutra was inscribed on the underside of every flagstone on the path that leads up to the main hall of the temple, so that visitors to the temple who followed this route on their way to worship at the main hall could accumulate merit in the process. The Untouan temple is famous as the place where Uesugi Kagekatsu and Naoe Kanetsugu were educated as boys.

    Wow, in the mountains & surrounded by forrest. It could be the movie set and center of a adventures story or just about monks. Huge trees, silent, tranquil. If you like nature and temple, this is the...

  • Eirinji Temple
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    4.5
    27 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Negoya 1765
    Eirinji is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Soto School that is located in the Negoya district of Uonuma City. According to tradition, the famous woodcarver Ishikawa Uncho (Minamoto no Masateru), who was active in the Bakumatsu period and in the early years of the Meiji period, lost a bet with Abbot Enno Bensho the 22nd, and as a result stayed at the Eirinji Temple for 13 years, creating large numbers of carvings for the temple. Today, the Eirinji Temple still has over 100 carvings by Ishikawa Uncho, including ranma (openwork screens), etc., and many people visit the temple for the express purpose of viewing these masterpieces.

    This temple is decorated by a variety of art works by Uncho Ishikawa, whose artistic ingenuity is legendary, albeit locally. This by no means suggests that he was just a local talent. On the...

  • Saifukuji Temple (Kaisando)
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    4.5
    83 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Oura 174
    Sekijyozan Saifukuji Temple is a temple opened during the late Muromachi period in 1534. The Kaisando for worshipping images of Kaisan and Dogen Zenji—founder of Soto sect—is famous for its numerous wonderful sculptures, paintings, and lacquerware that can be called great works of Uncho Ishikawa, a famous craftsman from the end of the Shogunate. It is often called “Echigo Nikko” for its similarity to the collection of works at Toshogu in Nikko. About five minutes by car via Koide Interchange on the Kan-etsu Expressway.

    A stunning temple. The main hall itself has plenty to see and is very interesting, but the carvings in the small Kaisando building (which is covered by the towering roof from the outside) are...

  • Abutsubo Myosenji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Awazoo 29
    A 30-minute drive from Ryotsu Port, this temple is one of the three main Nichiren Buddhist temples. When Nichiren Buddhist monk Endo Tamemori was exiled to Sado Island he and his wife Sennichini opened their home as a temple. On the grounds of the temple stands a five-story pagoda erected in 1825 during the Edo-period. It is the most prominent part of the grounds and has been designated an Important Intangible Cultural Property of Japan. There are also three volumes of historical Nichiren Buddhist texts and spearheads said to have been dedicated to the temple by Naoe Kanetsugu.
  • Kunigamidera Temple
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    3.5
    8 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Tsubameshi Kugami 1407
    This Shingon Buddhist temple is halfway up Mt. Kugamiyama, a 15-minute drive from Bunsui Station on the JR Echigo Line. Founded in year 709 it is the oldest temple in the prefecture. The temple is dedicated to the Amitabha Buddha which is revealed only once out of every 12 years, the Year of the Rat. It is said that Uesugi Kenshin would pray for victory here and that praying here can bring various benefits such as warding off evil, wishes being answered, and safe travel. In 1914 the hut in which monk Ryokan secluded himself during the latter part of the Edo period was rebuilt and it is still open for viewing today. Further legends regarding Yoshitsune and Shuten-Doji surround the temple.

    岩室温泉へ宿泊した翌朝に行きました。 国上山の中腹にある越後最古の古刹だそうです。 歴史を感じる本堂、大師堂、六角堂などが見事でした。 良寛が暮らしたという五合庵も近くです。

  • Gochi Kokubunji Temple
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    3.5
    25 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Jouetsushi Gochi 3-20-21
    This Tendai Sect Buddhist temple is a 20-minute walk from Naoetsu Station on the Tokimeki Railway Myoko Haneuma Line. The principle objects of worship at the temple are Mahavairocana, Bhaisajyaguru, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, and Guatama Buddha. It is said that the temple was revived at its current location on the orders of Uesugi Kenshin in 1562. The current temple was re-built in 1997 in accordance with ancient traditions with a modest exterior and dignified interior. In the temple grounds are an unfinished three-tiered pagoda and a thatched hut that was made by the saint Shinran. A seated statue of Shinran is enshrined inside the hut.

    In 8th century, Syomu Emperor ordered to build a temple per state to stabilize its situation. Gochi Kokubunji Temple is one of these temples. Later, this temple was burned out in the 16th century...

  • Saishoji Temple
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    4.5
    5 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Nagaokashi Teradomarinodumi 8996
    This ancient temple of the Shingon sect of Buddhism was opened by Gyoki Bosatsu in the year 733. It is a 30-minute taxi ride from Tsubamesanjou Station on the Bullet Train. Amida Nyorai Buddha is the principle deity of worship here and is normally kept from public viewing except once every 12 years on the Year of the Rat when it is unveiled. Furthermore, what is believed to be the oldest mummified monk in Japan, Kochi Houin is enshrined here which you can see (with an entry fee). The treasure hall contains a wooden statue of the monk and the mummy of a raijuu cat as well as long songs signed by the departed high priest Ryokan, all of which are free to see.

    「日本海の鎌倉」とも言われる弥彦山中腹に位置する静かな環境の中にある山寺で,ミイラ仏が拝観できるとしても有名です。600年前のミイラということも驚きです。

  • Chokokuji Temple
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    4.5
    13 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Hase 13
    This ancient Shingon sect Buzan-ha temple just a 30-minute drive from Ryotsu port and was founded by Gyoki or Kobo Daishi (Kukai). The Gochido Hall, a Cultural Property of Niigata Prefecture, is also known as the two-story pagoda. There are only a few of these buildings in Japan where the inner sanctum use a 'Daito' pagoda structure with a circular plane. There are also many other cultural assets such as the Eleven-Headed Kannon Statues, which are also National Important Cultural Properties. This temple is also known as the temple of flowers because of its Azalea, Hydrangeas, and other flowers. Every year they hold their Chokokuji Temple Peony Festival where you can enjoy peonies in full bloom on the grounds and along the paths.

    Amazingly beautiful and wonderfully located but far from main track, Huge complex of other teples as well, Zen meditation center as well.

  • Hokkeshu Sohonzan Honjo-ji
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    3.5
    4 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sanjoushi Nishihonjouji 1-1-20
    Honjo-ji Temple in Sanjo City is the head temple of the Hokkeshu, Jinmon school of Buddhism. It is located directly west of the JR Sanjo Station. It was founded in 1297, by Nichiin, one of Nichiro's disciples, who was himself, a disciple of Nichiren. The current main hall was built in the Meiji period, and the seven magnificent buildings - the main hall, guest house, bell tower, pagoda, Senbutsudo, Banjindo and main gate are all contained within temple compound, covering almost five acres of land. There is also a garden within the compound, called the Sankien, which is maintained by the city residents and the temple's followers. In the fall, the autumn leaves have an almost otherworldly appearance.

    石川 雲蝶の彫刻は波や風が動いているよう。 今回の新潟旅行まで知らなかったのですが、大ファンになってしまいました。 赤い山門は迫力があって美しいです。

  • Kankoji Temple
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    4.0
    10 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Uwano 267
    This Zen Buddhist temple has historical ties to the Uesugi clan, the deputy shoguns of the Kanto region, and to the Ueda Nagao clan. The primary object of worship of the temple, which belongs to the Kamakura Engaku-ji? school, is Shakyamuni Buddha (Gautama Buddha). The temple is said to have been founded in 1410 by the monk Kakuosoden, the son of Uesugi Noriaki. The temple was relocated to Yonezawa in 1600 along with Uesugi Kagekatsu's forced relocation there. After being destroyed in a fire, the temple was rebuilt in its current location during the Kanbun era (around 1661 to 1673). The temple's main gate, which belonged to the Sakai Clan of the Awa-Katsuyama Domain, was donated and relocated to the temple in 2009. The gatekeeper's station on the gate's left side still gives it the stately appearance of the gate to a samurai residence. The temple also possesses a rare rotating bookshelf called kyozou, containing a complete set of the Obaku school's version of the Buddhist scriptures. The main temple building has a Japanese rock garden? in front, which is unusual for the Minamiuonuma area.

    Beautiful Zen temple at the foot of the mountains. The climbing dragon waterfall over the back pond is very tranquil. The temple is famous for its miso paste which you can try. Lots of intricate...

  • Tochiomata Onsen Yakushido
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Yunoya Kami Origami 66
    This Yakushido Hall is located on the grounds of the Jizaikan hot spring inn on Prefectural Route 299 in Kamioritate, Uonuma City. People seeking hot spring cures have long prayed here for recovery from their illnesses. The hall's sacred trees, the 400-year-old Komochi Sugi (parenthood cedar) and the Meoto Keyaki (husband and wife Zelkova), are believed to grant prayers for the blessing of children. Visitors seeking this blessing make offerings of ema (wooden votive tablets) affixed with Kewpie dolls.
  • Midama Fudoson Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Nakauonumaguntsunanmachi Akinari 9761
    This temple is located in Akinari, Tsunan Town, Nakauonuma County. It is said to have been built in 1186 to enshrine Acala, by Seisazaemon Miyamoto, a retainer of Kiyomori Taira. Many people come here to pray for healthy eyesight, since it has been said to have a healing effect on the eyes since ancient times. Currently, all five great wisdom kings, the Vidyaraja, who protect the four cardinal directions, including Vajrayaksa and Kundali, are enshrined here.
  • Urasa Bishamondo Temple
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    4.0
    16 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Urasa 2495
    This temple is located in Urasa, Minamiuonuma City. It was founded in 807 by Sakanoue-no-Tamuramaro. The main gate resembles the Yomei-mon gate of the Nikko Toshogu Shrine, and features a painting of two dragons by the late Edo period painter, Tani Buncho. It is designated as a Nationally Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property, and is famous for the Hadaka Oshiaitaisai festival which has been held for 1200 years on the first Saturday of March each year.

    Beautiful, old wooden shrine. It's worth a visit during the day but really comes into its own on the night of March 3rd each year when it holds its annual festival. Men in loin cloths (fortified...

  • Baigoji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Agano Kojima 377
    According to records, this ancient Buddhist temple was founded in 1207 when the great monk Shinran was staying in the area to spread the belief in the nenbutsu prayer as the path to salvation and granted his greatest disciple with his honorary Buddhist name. The temple possesses a life-sized painting of Shinran as well as a calligraphic rendition of the nine-character name of a Buddhist deity stated to have been written in Shinran’s own hand when he stayed here. The temple’s Juzukakezakura cherry tree, whose hanging flowers resemble a Buddhist rosary; and the unusual Yatsufusa plum tree, whose individual flowers produce eight fruits, are counted among the Seven Wonders of Echigo. Considered both legends and miracles planted by Shinran during his visit to Echigo, even today their tale is passed down not only amongst the temple priests but across the prefecture.
  • Yakushido Komochi Sugi
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Uonuma-shi Tochiomata Onsen
    A Bhaisajyaguru temple (Yakushido) stands behind the Jizaikan, a secluded hot spring bathhouse in Tochiomata Onsen. The Tochiomata Yakushido is surrounded by large trees believed to be 400 years old and is dedicated to Bhaisajyaguru, the patron Buddhist deity of doctors. Two sacred trees stand on the grounds known as the Komochi Sugi (“Childbearing Cedar) and the Meoto Keyaki (“Husband and Wife Zelkova”), and the spot where they grow is famously believed to grant the prayers of worshippers who wish to be blessed with children. According to legend, stepping over the sacred trees will bless one with children. An unending stream of visitors make their way to the shrine to offer kewpie dolls and ema votive tablets to pray for children to the shrine and Bhaisajyaguru, and to give thanks for their prayers having been answered.
  • Jikoji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Gosen-shi Hiruno 870
    An ancient temple of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism located at the foot of the holy mountain Mt. Hakusan. While its exact founding date is yet unknown it's believed to have been a center of the Hakusan faith since ancient times. The current temple hall was reconstructed after a fire in 1755. Jikoji Temple has the best maintained seven-structured temple compounds in the prefecture and is extremely rare as a Soto sect temple with a remaining cloister. Along with the main hall, the priest quarters, main temple gate, cloister, and scripture house are all registered as Tangible Cultural Properties of Japan. Cedars, some said to be over 400 years old, line the path from the Ogonno Sato Meeting hall at the base of the temple grounds to the temple and amidst the dignified atmosphere you can feel the long history of Jikoji Temple.
  • Myoshoji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Sado-shi Nosawa 454
    This Buddhist temple is notable for its stunning hermitage capped by a massive thatched roof. It is believed that Buddhism founder Nichiren spent two and a half years here, from the time he moved to Ichinosawa from the Sanmaido in Tsukahara, where he wrote his well-known text the “Kaimokusho,” until the time his banishment was pardoned. It is here that Nichiren famous wrote the “Kanjinhonzonsho,” the core of his teachings, in order to promote the use of the Lotus Sutra. Of the sacred sites associated with Nichiren still extant in Sado, this is the only one with a thatched hut; there’s also a Soshido hall commemorating the founding of the temple. The temple was famously granted its name as well as its title by Nichiren himself.
  • Jissoji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Sado-shi Nosawa 856
    According to records, for two and a half years from 1272, the great monk Nichiren, having been banished to Ichinosawa, recited the lotus sutra at this Buddhist temple each morning. Beyond the temple’s thatched roof Deva gate, visitors are welcomed by the moss-covered temple approach. A statue on the grounds depicts a standing Nichiren as he looked each morning thinking of his parents in his home of Awa Province. It is recorded that Nichiren would stand on the hill here, hang his monk’s stole on an old pine, ritually rinse his mouth using water from a spring below the cliff, and express his thanks for the tender care his parents had given him. Temple treasures such as its wooden statues of the two Deva kings, framed depiction of the Sanbaso dance, and annotated and illustrated Avalokitesvara Sutra are all registered as prefectural or municipal Cultural Properties.

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Found along the northwestern coast of Japan, Niigata prefecture is celebrated for its high-quality rice and breathtaking nature, most notably its spectacular mountains, whose white peaks draw in snow sports lovers from far and wide over the winter months. Hit the slopes at Yuzawa, pick out your favourite modern artist at Echigo Tsumari, or take a ferry over to Sado Island for an extra adventure.

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