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Temple Spots in Gifu Area

  • Tanigumisan Kegonji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Ibigunibigawachou Tanigumitokudumi 23
    Tanigumisan Kegonji Temple located at the end of Prefectural Route 251, Tanigumitokuzumi, Ibigawa Town is a temple which was established in 798. It is the 33rd pilgrim stamp office for the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. Since being granted names for a mountain and a temple by Emperor Daigo, it has attracted worshippers for about 1,200 years, and has been affectionately called Tanigumisan as a temple for fulfilling and completing a goal. It is also known as a famous place for cherry blossoms and fall foliage.
  • The Gifu Great Buddha (in the Shoho-ji Temple)
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Gifushi Daibutsuchou 8
    Also known as the Kago Daibutsu, the Gifu Great Buddha (Gifu Daibutsu) is located in the Kinpo-zan Shoho-ji Temple in Gifu City; this Buddha statue has been designated by Gifu Prefecture as an Important Cultural Property. It ranks as one of the “Three Great Buddha Statues of Japan,” and is the largest dried lacquer Buddha statue in the country. To create the statue, a wooden framework was built around a central pillar cut from a large Gingko tree; a bamboo lattice was then installed around the wooden framework, and clay was plastered onto the lattice. After this, copies of the complete Buddhist scriptures were affixed to the clay, and then lacquer and gold leaf were applied. With the Great Buddha’s friendly, slightly smiling expression and the peaceful atmosphere of the Daibutsuden hall where the statue is situated, a visit here can induce feelings of calm and serenity. The charge for admission to the temple is 200 yen for adults, 100 yen for children.
  • Honko-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Hidashi Furukawachouninomachi 1-17
    The Honko-ji Temple is a temple belonging to the Hongan-ji sect of the Jodo Shinshu School of Buddhism, located in Hida City, Gifu Prefecture. The temple is renowned as one of the finest in the Hida region thanks to its magnificent Hon-do main hall (made almost entirely from Japanese Cypress wood), Shoro (bell tower), and San-mon (main gate). The Honko-ji Temple is one of the temples visited in the Hida Furukawa Three Temples Pilgrimage, an important winter event in the Hida-Furukawa region that takes place on January 15 every year. On this day, the banks of the Setogawa River and the historic streets are lined with around one thousand traditional Japanese-style candles and large “snow candles”; in this magical atmosphere, pilgrims visit and pray at first the Honko-ji Temple, then the Enko-ji Temple and the Shinshu-ji Temple.
  • Eishoji Temple
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    4.0
    11 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Nakatsugawashi Magome 5358
    This temple has a long history and is said to have been established in 1558 and is also said to be the model for ‘Manpuku-ji Temple” which appears in Shimazaki Toson’s novel “Before the Dawn”. The temple is available as a place to stay, a place to try Buddhist vegetarian food and experience Zazen meditation. The wooden statue of the sitting Amida Nyorai, the wooden standing Sho Kanon statue, and the Shomen Kongo Pagoda in the precincts are designated as Nakatsugawa city cultural property.

    Japan is always about the people and the interaction with them, regardless of whether you speak Japanese or not. We stayed at Eishoji for a night having walked part of the Nakasendo. We three were...

  • Nangu Taisha Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Fuwaguntaruichou Miyashiro 1734-1
    The Nangu Taisha Shrine—whose enshrined deity is Kanayamahiko, brother of the Amaterasu Omikami—is the keystone shrine of Mino, and is a great, famous home shrine for the Gods of Red and Gold, with particularly fervent worship of both prominent and lowly figures. The 18 structures remaining are representative of temple construction during the Edo period, and were designated as a National Important Cultural Property. The Nangu Taisha Shrine protects a diverse array of treasures, including swords, domaru (armor), train bells, votive pictures, and paintings. It is open to the public only once a year, on November 3rd. Approximately 20 minutes on foot from JR Tarui Station.
  • On-sen-ji Temple
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    4.0
    94 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Geroshi Yunoshima 680
    This temple is 15 minutes on foot from JR Gero Station. Temple legend says that Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha himself, announced the presence of Gero's hot springs. Climbing the 173 stone steps from the Jizo-do subtemple, you'll come to the temple gate. There's a sweeping view of Gero's townscape from the temple grounds. The tranquil vantage point and peaceful scenery make it a relaxing place for a break while sightseeing. They hold the Yakushi Festival annually on March 8, as well as free Zen meditation workshops on the 13th of every month that are open to all. In autumn they illuminate the colored leaves of the trees around the temple in the evening. The leaves stand out vividly against the night sky as you stroll along or gaze at them from the foot bath.

    We walked to this temple from Yunoshimakan after breakfast and a soak in the outdoor hot spring (with snow falling on our heads). The snow was so fresh that we could kick it up. The temple itself...

  • Hida-Kokubunji Temple
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    4.0
    162 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Takayamashi Souwamachi 1-83
    Located a five-minute walk from JR Takayama Station, this temple belonging to the Koyasan Shingon-shu sect of Shingon Buddhism was built in 746 on the orders of Emperor Shomu. It is by far the oldest temple of the Hida region. The main temple building, built in the mid-Muromachi period, enshrines a statue of the Bhaisajyaguru (Medicine Buddha), the temple’s primary object of worship. Both the building and the statue have been designated as national important cultural properties. The shrine’s large ginkgo tree, thought to be over 1,250 years old, has been designated as a national natural monument. It is said to grant better milk production to lactating mothers who visit the shrine, earning the name “chichi icho” (milk ginko). Visitors can also try the esoteric Shingon Buddhist practice of Ajikan meditation.

    The temple and shrine pale when compared to the amazing ones in Kyoto, Tokyo, etc.. That said, go see it anyways - it is between the JR train station and historic district, so is on your way. The...

  • Ryokaizan Yokokuraji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Ibigunibigawachou Tanigumikambara 1160
    This temple is said to have been built in 803 by Saicho in the mountains at the end of National Route 267 in the Ibigawa-cho area of Ibi County, Gifu Prefecture. It enshrines 22 important cultural properties including Bhaisajyaguru, and is called Mino’s Shosoin (treasure house) because it has a collection of many paintings and books. Among them, the remains of Myoshin Hoshi, said to be a “sokushinbutsu” (self-mummified monk), can be seen in the “sharido” (hall where a Buddha’s remains are kept). The temple grounds and the mountain trees are very colorful in the autumn, and an autumn leave festival and tree illumination are held, delighting the eyes of many people as a popular spot for the changing autumn leaves.
  • Zenshoji
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    4.0
    15 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Geroshi Hagiwarachouchuro 1089
    This Zen temple of the Rinzai Myoshinji school was established in the Heian period, and is located a five-minute walk from JR Takayama Line’s Zenshoji Station. An old temple counted among the top in the Rinzai school, the building conveys a style from Song Dynasty China, and boasts being one of the oldest and most famous. On the ground of the temple, you can find “Banzaido,” a garden landscaped by Kanamori Souwa and designated by Gifu Prefecture as a place of scenic beauty, a tea room, and many temple treasures including a large Bodhidharma statue of Sesshuhitsu. There are many sights such as the over 1,200-year old large Japanese cedar tree that is a nationally designated natural monument and Yukari no Ume (plum trees) planted personally by imperial messengers. You can also experience Zen meditation with a reservation.

    need to climb a long flight of stairs to this temple but provide a good view of the whole town

  • Sofukuji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Gifushi Nagara Fukumitsu 2403-1
    This temple with ties to Oda Nobunaga belongs to the Myoshinji school of Rinzai Zen Buddhism. To reach it, you can take a city loop bus counterclockwise from JR Gifu Station or Meitetsu Gifu Station, get off at the Nagaragawa Convention Center North Entrance stop, and walk three minutes. Oda Nobunaga’s Family Grave is there, with the remains and mortuary tablets of the Nobunagas and Nobutadas. The main hall's Chitenjo with floorboards from Gifu Castle stained by the blood of soldiers is well known, and the hall has valuable items on display. In autumn the colored leaves of the dodan-tsutsuji shrubs in their garden are superb. They hold the Oda Nobunaga Memorial Ceremony on the first Saturday of October every year.
  • Eihoji Temple
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    4.5
    73 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Prefecture Tajimi Tottoriyama Town 1-40
    This temple was founded in the Kamakura period (1185-1333) by Muso Soseki. Its honorary name Kokeizan comes from how the surrounding mountain scenery resembles China’s Kokei Ravine at Lushan. Eihoji’s garden is superbly beautiful and has been designated a Historic Site and Natural Monument. There are many sights you shouldn’t miss, like the Kaisando and Kannondo, both National Treasures. The principal object of worship, an image of Kanzeon Bosatsu, is a Prefectural Cultural Property. There are also sacred items like an image of Binzuru, a deity with healing powers, and a collection of Sentai Jizo statues.

    Eihoji Garden was designed by a renowned garden master and Zen monk, and it shows. Bit of a hassle to get there, but worth the trouble for true fans. It has been listed in "Hidden Gardens of Japan...

  • Takayama-betsuin Shoren-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Takayamashi Teppoumachi 6
    Crossing the Miyagawa River from Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, this Otani Shinshu Buddhist temple on National Route 158 has an enormous gate at the end of the approach. The temple was founded in 1253 by Shinran’s disciple Kanenbo Zenshun in Hida’s Shirakawa-go, Naka-go. Takayamabetsuin was moved to its present location by the Warring States Period (1467-1615) warlord Kanamori Nagachika. The highlight on the grounds is the temple’s treasure hall with more than 100 important items related to Shinran and Rennyo on display. The fact that it’s near Takayama City’s main tourist area is a good point, too. They have a paid parking lot that can accommodate large buses, and since the fees are reasonable, many people park there before exploring the city.
  • Hida Senkouji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Pref. Takayamashi Nyukawachoushimobo 1553
    "This ancient Buddhist temple, located a 30-minute drive from JR Takayama Station, was founded some 1,200 years ago by Takaoka-shinno, one of the great monk Kobo Daishi 's 10 greatest disciples. The current temple was rebuilt after repeated fires destroyed the original complex. Serving as a dojo for Mt. Koya Shingon shuzen meditation, the temple teaches old fashioned mountain Buddhism. Also known as the ""Enku-butsu Temple,"" the temple's Enku-butsu-dera Treasure Hall, close to the Daiji-mon gate, is open to the public and displays a portion of the temple's treasures and 64 Enku-butsu statues such as a depiction of Two Faced Sukuna and Dharmapala (hall is closed in winter). The temple also offers day trip Buddhist training courses such as sermns, sutra copying, and meditation."
  • Myojorinji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Ogaki-shi Akasakacho 4610
    "A Shingon Buddhist temple located a 5.8-kilometer drive from the Ogaki-nishi Interchange on the Meishin Expressway. Situated on top of Mt. Kinseisan, the temple commands a view of the Nobi Plain. Records state the temple was founded by the ascetic En no Gyoja at the request of Empress Jito in 686. The temple's principal object of worship is a statue of Akasagarbha, called ""Gokuzobosatsu"" in Japanese, and thus the temple is also affectionately nicknamed ""Gouzo-san."" The temple owns many other cultural properties, including a wooden statue of Kshitigarbha in the half lotus position which has been designated a National Important Cultural Property, and a wooden statue of a standing Deva king designated an Important Cultural Property by the prefecture. The surrounding area is a rare habitat for Luciola parvula, known as the ""princess firefly"" in Japanese, and firefly watching sessions are held around June."
  • Jionzenji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Gujo-shi Hachimancho Shimadani 339
    This Myoshinji Rinzai Zen temple is also known as Tessoen. It was founded in 1606 by Endo Yoshitaka, who built Gujo Hachiman Castle. The principal object of worship is Shaka Nyorai. Yakushi Nyorai, Benzaiten, Ususama Myoo, and Kanzeon Bosatsu are also enshrined. Tessoen is the temple's inner garden, a magnificent Muromachi period garden at the foot of Mt. Todoyama that incorporates huge rocks. Visitors enjoy the changing seasons with flowers in the spring, vibrant greenery in the summer, colorful autumn leaves, and the snowy winter grounds.
  • Zentsuji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Takayama-shi
    This temple of the Myoshin-ji School of the Rinzai Sect is located along the Yunohana Road in Okuhida. It is said to be the origin of the Yamabushi prayers to protect the Kikura Gongen. This is where the Buddhist sculptor Enku shonin stayed for one year during the early Edo period, and it is the location of 17 Enku Buddha images, including Idaten, Ugajin, Kanzeon Bosatsu, Fudo, and his later masterpiece Sho Kannon. On the grounds there is a people's lodge, Enkuan, where you can immerse yourself in the hot springs that flow from the spring in which Enku himself bathed. It has also been selected as the 29th pilgrimage site on the Hida 33 Kannon Pilgrimage.
  • Ankokuji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Takayama-shi Kokufucho Nishimonzen 474
    This is one of the temples which Ashikaga Takauji and his brother Tadayoshi, the founders of the Muromachi Shogunate, ordered built across Japan. It was founded in 1347 by converting Shorinji Temple in Kokufu. It originally had a complete seven-structured temple compound and nine sub-temples, but most of it was destroyed during the Warring States period. The rotating sutra shelf in the scripture house which survived the fires is the oldest of its kind in Japan. It's one of the few sutra repositories to be declared a National Treasure, along with those at Horyuji Temple and Toshodaiji Temple. The Senshin no Mori forest behind the temple has numerous cultural assets, and you can do a walk taking in some of the 33 sacred spots of the Saigoku Pilgrimage.
  • Ankokuji Temple Kyozo (Sutra Repository)
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Takayama-shi Kokufucho Nishimonzen 474 Ankokuji
    This sutra repository is at Ankokuji Temple, the 11th stop on the pilgrimage of Hida's 33 sites sacred to the bodhisattva Kannon. The octagonal rotating sutra shelf is the oldest in Japan and holds 5,397 original scrolls containing the complete Buddhist scriptures. It is one of the few sutra repositories in Japan that have been declared a National Treasure, along with those at Horyuji Temple and Toshodaiji Temple in Nara. Featuring a mix of a medieval Japanese and Zen design elements, it was donated in 1408 by Okuda Danjo Yorichika, an official from what is today Gero City. It's impressive in a way you wouldn't imagine from its simple exterior.
  • Seihoji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Takayama-shi Kokufucho Tsurusu 1320-2
    A temple built in 749 by Taicho, the founder of the Hakusan faith. The complex had lots of sub-temples and prospered between the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, but the majority of it was destroyed in battles between the provincial governor, Anegakoji Tadatsuna and the Muromachi Shogunate in 1411. It was moved to its current location in 1854, but there was no resident priest and it was looked after by the local villagers. The Enkudo hall has three statues of the Bodhisattva Kannon carved by the priest Enku in the early Edo period. The thousand-armed, standing, and dragon-headed Kannon images are all Important Prefectural Cultural Properties.
  • Enkudo
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Takayama-shi Kokufucho
    This hall on the grounds of Seihoji Temple was originally built in 749. It houses three images carved by the priest Enku in the early Edo period. He traveled around the country during that time and carved over 120,000 Buddhist statues to help spread the Buddhist teachings. Tradition says he carved the thousand armed, standing, and dragon-headed Kannon statues from hinoki cypress in the ittobori style while staying in the area. The 1.27-meter thousand armed Kannon is one of only a few that he carved and is considered among his greatest works.

Gifu Main Areas

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Tucked away in the very center of Japan, Gifu prefecture houses mountains, old towns, and one of Japan’s greatest hot springs, Gero Onsen. A tour of the prefecture’s traditional architecture will take you from the mountain-enveloped wooden streets of Takayama to the mountain village of Shirakawago, where visitors can explore 250-year-old thatched roofed houses known as gassho-zukuri.

Gifu Photo Album

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