Jan 2023 08
Shoraku-ji Temple

Shoraku-ji Temple | Surrounded by verdant peaks, the original scenery of Omi and even Japan can be found here.

勝楽寺 | 青々とした峰に囲まれた里山。近江の、日本の原風景がそこにある。

Koura Town, Inukami District, Shiga Prefecture. A mountain temple with a nostalgic atmosphere. This might be Omi's, no, Japan's original landscape.
Shoraku-ji Temple is one of the Kennin-ji school of the Rinzai sect, built by Doyo Sasaki, a military commander who was active during the turmoil of the Northern and Southern Courts. It is said that the founder of the mountain is Unkai of Tofuku-ji Temple.



The appearance of the temple at the time of its foundation can not be seen, but the gable-style six-legged gate, which escaped fire, conveys the atmosphere of that time. It retains the architectural style of the Muromachi period and is designated as a cultural property of the town.


When the chief priest opens the door of the storehouse, a beautiful sitting statue of Mahavairocana appears. This statue, which is said to be Nenjibutsu (Buddhist image used as jewellery or to decorate one's home) of Doyo, is said to have been made in the Fujiwara period. The way he looks down gently and seems to think quietly is very impressive.


The culture and history of Omi cannot be discussed without Doyo. While he was called Basara daimyo due to his unparalleled boldness and flamboyant behavior, he was well versed in Noh, Kyogen, Sarugaku, tea ceremony, and Renga. He is known as a man of culture with the highest sense of beauty.


In the cemetery on the north side of the main hall, Doyo Sasaki's tomb also remains.


There is a pond on the side of the precincts. When Shoraku-ji Temple was devastated by fire, villagers cleverly managed to bury the statue of Mahavairocana in this area. After the fire was extinguished, when the pond was dug up, a spring of water sprang up, and since then it has been called Dainichi Pond because it has never dried up.


At the top of the ridge line, the ruins of Shoraku-ji Castle remain, so I just climbed the long mountain road. On the way, I came to a place with a view overlooking Omi. This red torii gate and shrine is said to be the birthplace of the Kyogen play "Tsurigitsune."


I left the temple precincts and strolled around. There was a place where large trees piled up like mountains. This is "Nogami-san" of the Nogami faith, which has been alive in the Koto and Kohoku areas of Shiga Prefecture for a long time. A valuable intangible folk cultural asset that conveys the religious life of the region based on the simple belief in natural gods. There was a mysterious divineness that made me feel nostalgic for my childhood.


Culture and faith that have been spun together with nature in the rich mountains and rivers. The temple deep in the mountains was enveloped in an air of desolate mystery.


about this venue

Shoraku-ji Temple

Location: 4 Shorakuji Temple, Koura-cho
Phone: 0749-38-2041


<重文>木造大日如来坐像 絹本著色佐々木高氏像