Ryumon-ji Temple was founded by Zen master Bankei Yotaku (1622-93). Bankei was ordained at the age of 17. A Buddhist priest of the early Edo period (1603-1868), he underwent rigorous training, and preached a new Zen philosophy of "the Unborn," found in neither India nor China.
Until his death, he traveled extensively throughout Edo (modern-day Tokyo), Shikoku, and Kyushu, restoring 47 abandoned temples and opening 150 temples. He had more than 400 ordained disciples and more than 50,000 disciples who are still practicing Zen today. In 1671, he became abbot of Myoshin-ji Temple, and was later given the titles of Zen master and "national master" (a posthumous title given to high-ranking priests). Bankei was called "Bankei of the West" to "Hakuin of the East" (Hakuin was an influential figure in Zen Buddhism), and he was fondly known by the people as Bankei-san.
Ryumon-ji Temple was built in 1661 as Bankei's base of training, and is one of the most prominent Zen temples in the Harima region. The main temple building, or "garan," was constructed in the early to mid-Edo period (1603-1868), and still retains its original appearance.
The temple is known for its tea ceremony, held with a large tea bowl, but it also holds a variety of other events, including a zen meditation sessions that are especially popular with people from other countries, and sermons by Old Zen Master Kano that clarify the path of zen and soothe the mind.
Within Ryumon-ji Temple is a wooden 1,000-Armed Standing Kannon statue, designated a prefectural cultural property, 43 sliding door paintings by the revered Kano school, and 103 materials related to Bankei Yotaku.
Coin locker available
Accepts credit cards
- Train: Approx. 10 minute walk from Aboshi Station on the Sanyo Electric Railway / Approx. 4 km from JR Aboshi Station
Approx. 13 minutes by taxi
- Hamada-812 Aboshiku, Himeji, Hyogo 671-1242
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