Wed

09

Mar

2016

Sojiji Temple

On the last day, before leaving Haneda, I went to Tsurumi district of Yokohama City where I spent four years at my relative's temple while attending a college.  I was planning to visit my relatives to say hello but I happened to see a sign of Sojiji Temple which is one of two main Head-Temples of Soto Zen Buddhist Sect.  

 

When I was a student, I had no interest in visiting Zen Temples.  So I never tried to visit Sojiji Temple while living close in the same district of Tsurumi.  However, after moving to Hawaii, I came to like visiting various Buddhist temples.  Therefore, I couldn't resist going to Sojiji temple as soon as I saw the sign!  This, of course,  made me feel sorry for my relatives but soon I became positive again. I thought...ok...my relatives can come to Hawaii to see me but Sojiji temple cannot come to see me.  This is how I changed my mind and went to the Soto Zen Temple for my first time.

Sojiji Temple is close to JR Tsurumi Station West Exit. 5 minutes walk or 780 yen by taxi.   As soon as I saw series of magnificent buildings, I thought I was lucky to see the sign which made me come.  Then I saw something I never expected in March.

On the temple ground, various colorful trees welcomed me.  It was Sakura!   This type of Sakura blossoms earlier than regular Sakura and  is generally called "Kanzakura" which literally means "Kan(cold)Zakura(cherry)."  When I saw Sakura trees at Zojoji, they were never ready to bloom but "Kanzakura" could bloom in winter from January.  Sakura in the 2nd & 3rd photo above has many names and widely grown as an ornamental tree.   In Japanese, it is called "Hikanzakura (Red-cold-cherry)" or "Kanhizakura (Cold-red-cherry)" or "Hizakura (Red Cherry) or sometimes called "Ganjitsu-zakura (New Year's Day Cherry)" since it could bloom in the New Year's Day.  In English, it is widely known as Taiwan cherry, Formosan cherry, or bellflower cherry, according to Wikipedia.

(I think) this is called Okamezakura.  Okamezakura was created by a British cherry-peony Ingram, after mixing Hikanzakura and Mame-zakura (I think next picture is mamezakura.)

They say there are over 600 kinds of Sakura.  So it's hard to tell a name. 

This building is called "Koushakudai" which literally means "the world of incense prevail."  There is a huge temple office and a gift shop inside the building.  They have one hour-temple-tour four times a day; 10:00 11:00 13:00 14:00 15:00.  Suggested donation for the tour is 400yen/person.   Walking around temple ground is of course free!  I came to this office after visiting all the other buildings but I should have visited this first.  I missed a temple tour and a few important general information about this temple!

This building is called "Butsu-den" meaning "a Buddha Hall."  As is often the case with Soto Zen Temple, main Buddha image of the hall is Shakyamuni Buddha, accompanied by Mahākāśyapa and Ananda who are principle desciples of the Buddha.

This "Daisodo(Big founder Hall)" is the biggest building among Sojiji temple.  Daiso literally means "a big founder" which indicates a founder of this temple, Keizan Jokin (1268–1325)  and a founder of Japanese Soto Zen, Dogen.  To commemorate these two founders and other high patricahs, Daisodo was built in 1962.   This hall is known as Senjoji or a 1,000 tatami mat space.

This huge building is called "Sansho-kaku" meaning "Three pine trees Shrine."   This is a social hall and retreat center where members and guests can stay.

Taihokan.  This building was originally located in the Owari-Tokugawa Mansion at Sendagaya, Tokyo.  The entire building was moved here in 1957.  This is a guest house.

Hyaken-rouka or Corridor which is 152 meters long.

General Information:

Website: http://sojiji.jp/index.html

Gate Open Every Day

Office Hour (Koushakudai): 10:00-16:30

Temple Tour: 10:00, 11:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00

Reservation is recommended. (045-581-6021)

Zazen-kai in English.

Virtual Visitation (street View):  

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