Oct 2023 02
Saikyo-ji Temple

Saikyo-ji Temple | A pleasant cool breeze blew through. A magnificent precinct surrounded by a tranquil atmosphere.

西教寺 | 心地よい涼風が吹き抜けた。静謐な空気に包まれた幽玄な境内

A beautiful view of Lake Biwa spreads out below. I strolled through the spacious and spectacular grounds.
Saikyo-ji Temple, the head temple of the Tendai Shinsei sect. It is said that Prince Shotoku built this temple for his mentor, the Goryeo monks Huiji and Huesong. After that, it fell into disrepair for a long time, but Jikei Daishi Ryogen Shonin restored it and turned it into a training hall for nenbutsu. After further time, in 1486, Mamori Shonin entered the temple. It led to the restoration of temples and teachings.

天台真盛宗総本山 西教寺。聖徳太子が恩師である高麗の僧慧慈、慧聡のために創建されたと伝わる。その後久しく荒廃していたが、慈恵大師良源上人が復興、念仏の道場とした。さらなる時を経て、文明18年(1486)に真盛上人が入寺。堂塔と教法を再興するに至る。

An era of gekokujo where the Onin and Bunmei War continue. The founder of the sect, Mamori Shonin, advocated strict observance of the precepts and practice of Shomyo Nembutsu. Since then, Saikyo-ji Temple has become a dojo for Buddhist precepts and nenbutsu, and has become the head temple with more than 400 branch temples nationwide. To this day, the nembutsu has been chanted continuously for a single day.


The main hall is a splendid total zelkova gabled structure. In the Edo period 1739, the building was completed. The materials were donated by the Kishu Tokugawa family, and the transom (16 Rakan) and Shumidan in the front are all made of zelkova wood, and are decorated with gorgeous decorations that represent the characteristics of the early Edo period.

見事な総欅入母屋造の本堂。江戸時代 元文4年(1739)に上棟落成。用材は紀州徳川家からの寄進、正面の欄間(十六羅漢)や須弥壇はすべて欅の素木造で江戸初期の特色を表す豪華な装飾が施されている。

The main hall filled with a solemn atmosphere where the nembutsu resounds. The mail idol enshrined here is Joroku Amida Nyorai (Heian period, Jocho style), an important cultural property.


Mamori Shonin "Sacrifice white monkey"
In 1493, during the Muromachi period, when the Tokusei Ikki broke out in Sakamoto, monk warriors from the temple attacked Saikyo-ji Temple, mistaking the ringleader for Shinmori Shonin. However, there was no one in the precincts, and only the sound of the gong could be heard from the main hall. Hearing this, the soldier monks rushed into the main hall, where they found a monkey with a white hand beating the gong in place of the priest. It is said that even the monkey, a messenger of Hiyoshi Sanno, was enchanted by the monk's indoctrination and chanting the nembutsu, and left the place.


The reception hall that continues from the main hall. Originally the former hall of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's Fushimi Castle, it was donated in 1598 by the wife of Nagatoshimori Yamanaka, the mother of Otani Gyobu Yoshitaka. The fusuma paintings of the Kano School are drawn in each of the rooms arranged in two rows, and the inner Buddha of the sage's room is a seated statue of Yakushi Nyorai, a secret Buddha that has been handed down from Hossho-ji Temple in Kyoto.


The view from the reception hall is an elegant garden created by Enshu Kobori. An ornamental garden that skillfully utilizes the steep slopes of the back mountain and makes full use of round cuts and small cuts. The pond in the center is a gourd-shaped pond that incorporates the shape of a biwa, and is composed of two rocks with a small hill built between the lower part of the mountain and the pond. The fresh greenery of early summer, the blooming of the azaleas, the autumn foliage at the height of autumn, and the snowy landscape of winter are said to be particularly spectacular.


During the Warring States period, when Nobunaga Oda set fire to Mt. Immediately after that, Akechi Mitsuhide became the lord of Sakamoto Castle. Since Mitsuhide became a follower of Saikyoji Temple and worked hard to restore the temple, the grave of the Mitsuhide family remains in the precincts.


about this venue

Saikyo-ji Temple

Location: 5-13-1 Sakamoto, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture
Phone: 077-578-0013


〈重文〉本堂 客殿 木造阿弥陀如来坐像 木造聖観音立像 木造薬師如来坐像 絹本著色当麻蔓茶羅図 絹本著色阿弥陀如来像(2幅) 絹本著色釈迦如来像 絹本著色天台大師像 絹本著色山王諸神像 紙本著色扇面古写経 絹本著色豊臣秀吉像 後土御門天皇宸翰真盛上人号紙本墨書無量義経疏(3巻) 注大般涅槃経巻第八 色紙金銀箔散法華経(8帖) 石灯籠 鰐口 梵鐘